Most people with a fireplace in their homes know the right way to build a fire. However, other people think they’re competing on “Survivor.” You know, try all kinds of things to build a fire, cross their fingers, and hope it works. Instead, here’s how you should build an efficient and safe fire.
Just Follow These Simple Steps
When you get it right, you and your family can enjoy a roaring fire that adds warmth to the house. Not only that, but a nice fire will also make your place homier. Keep in mind this is for a wood burning fireplace or stove as opposed to one that operates on gas.
Gather some old newspapers or other scrap paper lying around the house. Tear it into somewhat large pieces and then crumble it up. With that done, place the paper so that it sits loosely under the fireplace grate.
Now, choose two large logs. However, make sure they’ll fit inside the fire box. Now, place them on top of the grate so that they’re parallel to the back portion of the fireplace. Leave some space in between the logs. That way, the flames can work their way through the middle of them.
This is when you’ll add kindling. Simply place it on top of the logs. However, they’ll need to run perpendicular to them.
For this next step, you’ll need to prime the chimney. For this, light a piece of paper using a lighter or match. With the flame burning, hold it in the air so that the smoke goes up the chimney. The reason for this is that it creates an updraft. That way, smoke from the fire will go up the chimney instead of inside your home.
Get the Fire Going
If you use a long piece of paper to create the updraft, you can probably use the same flame to light the crumpled paper. If not, light a second piece of paper with a lighter or match. Then, use the flame again, but this time, to light the kindling.
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Words of Caution
As you can see, it’s not hard to start a beautiful fire. However, you also need to keep an eye on it while it burns for safety reasons. A properly built fire is something that everyone in your house will enjoy. Even so, you should also know the things that you should never put in a fire. These include:
- Wet, Unseasoned, or Green Wood – You’ll have a hard time getting the wood to light. That’s because it can contain up to 45% moisture. In addition, the wood will create a significant amount of smoke. Also, it’ll create a buildup of creosote, which is highly flammable. The same applies to treated wood.
- Junk Paper and Household Trash – Other than the paper you use to light the kindling and create an updraft, never put junk paper or household trash in the fireplace. After all, much of it is treated too. Therefore, it could release dangerous toxins into your home.
- Any Type of Accelerant – For obvious reasons, never put accelerants like gasoline, starter fluid, kerosene, or solvents in your fireplace.
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