You don’t have to be an Eagle Scout to start a good fire in your fireplace. You just have to use a tried and trusted method.
- Make sure the damper is open. It may be located inside the firebox or at the top of the chimney.
- Crumple 2-3 sheets of black and white (not color) newspaper and place them on the fireplace grate.
- Put a handful of tinder on top of the newspaper. Slivers of pine wood, or fatwood make the best tinder.
- Criss-cross 6 or 8 pieces of kindling–dry hardwood, about 1 inch square by 1 foot long, on top of the tinder.
- Twist together two sheets of newspaper, light them and hold them up inside the fireplace to get an upward flow of warm air started.
- Light the newspaper under the kindling in 2-3 places with fatwood or fireplace matches.
- When the kindling is burning well, add 2-3 pieces of split, seasoned firewood. (Later, add more firewood as needed.)
- Place your fireplace screen or spark guard in front of the fireplace to make sure no sparks escape.
Since the beginning of time, people have found lighting the communal fire a rewarding experience. As you light your fireplace, seeing those first flickers of flame grow into a sustainable fire will, no doubt, be rewarding for you, too.
Want to read more articles like this? Sign up for Hearthside Living, our newsletter featuring expert advice, decorating tips, and special deals from FireplaceMall.com.