A fire starts quickly and lasts a long time if the wood is stacked properly.
After the changes to the energy bill, many people are looking for an alternative to gas or electric heating.
Many have opted for stoves and fireplaces, but no one is born knowing how to light a fire. There is a way to do this, and if you want a quick, long-lasting fire, there are a few rules to follow.
How to light it?
If you want to build a good fire, the first thing you need to do is clean the stove and fireplace with the tools you’ll need to do this. You can get these from DIY stores.
Whether you want to build a fire in a fireplace or a stove, you need to build the fire from the bottom up. The bottom of the layering should be some kind of kindling, natural, plastic-free paper, dry tree branches. Although special kindling sticks made from kerosene are available, it’s best to stick with the natural option.
This is especially true if there are young children – your own or those of guests – in the house, as the kindling is a bright pink, marshmallow-like substance. If you do choose to use it, always be careful and put it up high in a lockable box. When you have prepared the base of your fire, light it with a long matchstick at the bottom.
Things to know about fireplaces
If you have a fireplace, always stack the chopped wood at the back of the fireplace and place a so-called cushion wood around the edges. Place the kindling between these two piles.
After lighting the fire, turn the draught control on the fireplace up to a higher setting to give the fire plenty of oxygen. This will make the fire burn more intensely and efficiently. After 10 minutes, however, turn the regulator down so that the wood will burn more slowly.
When the fire is reduced to embers, turn the draft regulator off for the fireplace to retain heat for longer. Be sure to start cleaning before the next lighting only when the ashes have cooled and are safe to remove. Remove the ash into a metal bucket with a lid and cover it, and be sure to never throw it in the kitchen rubbish bin to avoid a fire.
What to know about lighting the stove
Always choose hard, dry wood for lighting a wood-burning stove. Beech, acacia and oak are suitable.
Place the larger logs at the edges and the lighter ones in the middle. The stove draught vents should be open during lighting to ensure good ventilation, which feeds the fire and helps the smoke to flow into the chimney. Close the draft vent when there are only embers in the stove. It is important that, whether you are heating with a stove or a fireplace, you always close the door to avoid the risk of embers falling out and backfiring.
Avoid placing carpets in front of stoves and fireplaces and keep anything made of textiles or other flammable materials away from them. It is worth getting a smoke alarm to alert you if smoke is billowing into the home for any reason.