The Best Way To Start A Fire In Your Fireplace
With temperatures rapidly dropping outside, it’s the best time of year to stay inside and cozy up by the fireplace. However, if you have a wood-burning fireplace at home, starting a fire can be a little more difficult than simply flipping a switch. However, with a little practice and some safety precautions, you can easily build a roaring fire to relax with this winter. Here’s how to start a fire in your fireplace.
1. Clean the fireplace.
The first step is to make sure that your fireplace is clean and safe to use. Sweep away any loose ashes from previous fires, and make sure there isn’t any loose debris nearby that could be a fire hazard. Make sure your fireplace has a grate and spark screen in place, which will keep the fire safely in the fireplace and prevent it from spreading. Also ensure you have had your annual chimney sweeping!
2. Gather your materials.
The next step is to make sure you have all the right materials to start a fire. First, you’ll need dry, seasoned wood. Dry wood will catch fire faster and create less creosote buildup than fresh, green wood. Split your logs if they aren’t already – this will help them catch fire more easily. You’ll also need tinder and kindling to build the base of the fire.
An easy option is to use newspaper and fire-starter kits, which are easy to purchase online.
Look for paraffin or fatwood-based kits, which are safer than liquid fire starters. Additionally, you should make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand. Although it’s unlikely that your fire will get out of hand, it’s always best to be prepared for an emergency just in case.
3. Open the damper and prime the flue.
The damper is the flap that sits above your fireplace, connecting it to the chimney. Your damper should be fully open so that smoke can properly flow out through the chimney.
You’ll also want to make sure to prime the flue. During the winter, cold air can press down on the chimney, trapping fire in your home. To prevent this from happening, light the end of a roll of newspaper and hold it up to the flue until you feel the air reverse direction.
4. Arrange your newspaper, kindling, and logs.
The next step is to arrange your materials. There are many different ways to approach this – some people start with a layer of newspaper and then add kindling in the middle with the logs on top. Others create a base of logs in a criss-cross pattern, putting kindling in the middle and tinder on top. All of these approaches will work as long as the fire can easily catch from the kindling to the logs.
5. Light the fire and enjoy.
The final step is to light the kindling and let the fire start, which may take a few tries. Once the fire has caught, you can close the screen and enjoy it. Be sure to monitor the fire throughout the evening to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand and put out the fire completely before going to bed.
If you’re based in central Connecticut and in need of chimney or fireplace services, Northeastern Chimney can help. Give us a call at 860-233-5770 or contact us online to set up an appointment today. We offer chimney inspections, repairs, cleaning, and more.