The sight of a fire burning in the fireplace is in fact one of the most relaxing and romantic experiences that you can enjoy. This can be especially very exciting during winters with the mercury dropping low outside and the pressing need of being close to something hot. Many people with fireplaces in their homes hesitate from starting a fire as they feel that they are inexperienced in building one and instead rely on other sources of heating. If you do not know the basics of how to start a fire in a fireplace, it can prove to be a daunting task. The good news is that with some tips, anyone can get an expert in starting a fire in a fireplace. There is no rocket science involved and you can improve with each time you strike the match.
How to Start a Fire in a Fireplace
Clear The Chimney
A blocked chimney will not let your fire blaze freely as air will not be able to flow freely in and out. Before you learn how to start a fire in a fireplace, clean the chimney yourself or by calling a chimney sweep service. This will ensure that the fire not only lights easily, but also endures for long without creating any smoke. Ideally a chimney should be cleared during a winterization process before winters. However, if you haven’t done it yet, you can still call a sweeper before you start a fire.
Open the Damper At Top
This is a common step that many people miss before lighting up a fire. If you want to master the art of how to start a fire in a fireplace, do not forget opening the damper so that there is a way out of the smoke and it does not come out into the house itself. Blocked smoke can quickly fill up rooms and make it uncomfortable for all people. This may seem as the most natural thing to do, but you will be surprised to know how many people actually miss out on it.
Get Dry Timber
If you want to learn starting a fire in a fireplace, get good quality dry timber for yourself. Dry timber lights easily and burns smoothly, creating less problems while you enjoy the experience. Therefore, choose your timber carefully. The three good varieties of timber that you can use are Locus, Ash and Beech. Do make sure that whatever variety of wood you purchase; it should be dried and at least aged for a year. Wet wood with moisture content will not burn easily and will not give out that much heat. Therefore, deliberate on this step and make sure you get the right wood.
Get Some Starter Wood
To know how to start a fire in a fireplace, you need to understand the different types of wood involved. Starter wood consists of small branches and twigs which burn easily. This type of wood can even be picked from your lawn or on your walk around the block. It just has to be fistful for one session of fire. You can also collect some dry leaves for starting a fire in a fireplace as they catch fire very easily and are very common around residential areas.
Newspaper And Matches
Newspapers are good starter material. They catch fire easily and pass it on to your starter wood. Therefore, to know how to start a fire in a fireplace, collect old newspapers from around the house. Grab some matches or a lighter to actually start a fire.
Arrange The Material
Once the above tips are completed, arrange the fire. At the base, put in the newspapers and the thick wood. This will be topped with started wood which will light the thick wood underneath. The secret to how to start a fire in a fireplace lies in arranging the material well in a manner that each topping gets its air outlet. Light the newspaper using the matches or lighter and watch the fire grow slowly. Now you have completed the initial stage of how to build a fire in a fireplace.
Let It Burn
After starting a fire in fireplace, many of us cannot control the urge to interrupt it. The best way how to start a fire in a fireplace is to not mess around with it much. While you may rearrange the wood when needed, let the fire grow and settle down on its own.
Poke When Needed
Poke your fire after every half an hour. This process fills in fresh air into the pile and helps it grow more. Once you understand the process of starting a fire in fireplace, you will know the perfect moment to poke.
The thick firewood would slowly turn into glowing embers and then into ash. Once the fire starts slowing down, poke the pile and then add some more firewood to keep it going. If you want to be sure that you know how to start a fire in a fireplace, feed it regularly without bogging it down too much.
Leave It To Die Naturally
This is the final tip on how to start a fire in a fireplace. Once you feel like finishing off the fire, stop adding any new wood. Give the fire some time to die down. Make sure that there is a fireplace screen that will prevent the ash from falling out into the open. This also stops any flying embers from flying out and save you from any burns while starting a fire in fireplace.
- Do not leave chimney clearing to the last day. Clearing the chimney well in advance will reduce the number of chores on the day of actually building a fire. Once the chimney is clear, the process of how to build a fire in a fireplace will be extremely easy.
- You can also get some coal to add to the fire. They can quickly make embers and improve the temperature in a short period of time
- Roast some marshmallows over the fire and enjoy with your friends and family. However, be very careful while opening the fire screen as you may burn yourself or furnishing around you. Take utmost care with children while learning how to build a fire in a fireplace.