A dozen tips on what to do and what to avoid doing to build a fire easily and safely in your fireplace:
- Do have a chimney sweep inspect and clean your flue annually.
- Do make sure your fireplace damper is open before you light a fire.
See How to Open the Damper.
- Do use a fireplace grate to provide a good draft for your fire.
- Do take the time to ‘stack’ your fire correctly to build a fire that will light easily and remain lit:
- Do warm your flue before lighting the fire: Make a “torch” by twisting together 2-3 sheets of newspaper, lighting it, and holding it near the opening of the flue, near the top of your firebox.
- Do use dry, split, seasoned hardwood firewood, that is, wood that has seasoned for at least 6 months. See How to Tell If Your Firewood is Seasoned.
- Do use a fireplace screen or spark guard to keep embers inside the fireplace.
- Don’t burn more pine or other softwood than necessary to get the fire started.
- Don’t burn newspaper or magazine pages with colored print or gift wrapping paper.
- Don’t ever use gasoline or kerosene to start a fire in your fireplace.
What to Do and What Not to Do to Build a Fireplace Fire
Do you have favorite fire building tips you’d like to share?
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