A wood burning stove is a cast iron or welded steel box used to warm one's domicile, and sometimes the less frequent act of cooking food. Using wood, coal or pellets, they can heat a home more efficiently than the traditional fireplace. With a wood stove less heat is lost through convection as it escapes with the plumes of smoke from the chimney. The wood stove defeats this shortcoming by enclosing the fire and bringing it into the room. This brings up another point, and another reason why a wood stove is better than a fireplace, if a fireplace is left unattended the embers could jump out causing the fire to spread throughout the home with a horrific outcome. With a wood stove this is not a problem, shut the door and it's safe to walk away. A wood stove harnesses the power of fire with such efficiency and safety they are a staple for surviving winter in the less hospitable of climates without having to also maintain a constant vigilance as well.