Proper fireplace use is essential to keeping your chimney in proper working order. Many people ask us how to start a fire in a fireplace since this is not completely obvious, especially to new chimney owners. Today, we’ll go over how to start a fireplace fire, along with other fire safety tips.
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Now, we’ll dive into how to start a fireplace fire and other chimney fire tips.
How to Start a Fire in a Fireplace
First, open your fireplace damper all of the way. This important step will keep large amounts of smoke from entering your home.
Crumple and stuff newspaper below the grate – being careful not to over stuff and overload.
Now it’s time to stack your wood in two rows. Stack criss-cross style with the largest logs on the bottom and leaving space between each log.
Next, add a handful of kindling on top of your newly formed stack.
Lastly, prime the chimney flue. Do this by lighting a newspaper and holding it above the damper area for a bit. If you skip this step, cold air in the flue could flow into your house due to negative pressure. Once you’re seeing that the draft has reversed, you can start your fire light the newspaper located below the grate and voila!
We recommend keeping your fire small and hot for optimal combustion.
Other Fireplace Fire Tips
Choose the Right Wood
Before you even begin your fire, you should be sure that you have the correct wood. We recommend avoiding softer woods such as pine and fir because they burn quickly and leave large amounts of dirty ash residue. Seasoned wood is also the best choice because it burns more cleanly and is easier to start fires with. Oak is by far the best wood for burning, and maple and birch are also acceptable options. Remember to never burn treated wood, since it will release chemicals into your home.
Also, only bring as much wood into your home as you’ll use in one sitting to avoid inviting bugs to reside in your house! For more tips on wood burning, check out our blog on which types of wood to burn in your fireplace.
Avoid Chimney Cleaning Logs
Another fireplace fire safety tip is to avoid chimney cleaning logs! Creosote sweeping logs are meant to loosen up creosote build up in your chimney, but their use tends to lead people to neglect their annual chimney sweep. So, although chimney cleaning logs are generally safe to use, if you are getting your chimney swept by a professional regularly, they should not be necessary. Plus, they contain chemicals that it would be better to avoid touching altogether. If you’d like to learn more, be sure to read our thoughts on the safety of chimney cleaning logs.
Keep Safety in Mind
If you have not had your chimney inspected and swept in the past year, hold off on starting a fireplace fire. If your chimney is dirty or has other issues, you could be putting your home and family in danger by lighting a fire. Call a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney sweep to have an inspection and sweep completed before lighting a fire.
In addition, make sure that your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have batteries and are working right. Remember, they should be kept in every room of your home except for your kitchen.
Call Best Chimney Services
Are you considering starting the first fire in a long time? Do you have questions on how to start a fire in your fireplace? Don’t hesitate to click here or call (781) 893-6611 to get in touch with us!
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