How to build a fire

BE SURE TO OPEN THE DAMPER  smiley

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT

First of all we need to understand fire’s 3 ingredients which are:

  • Heat,
  • Dry fuel  
  • Air

We will need a StarterLog (recommend this), or some cardboard or newspaper to help get the wood to burn.

A draft is created when Air is drawn in at the bottom and rises. Draft is needed to draw in clean air to feed our fire.

Wood used to burn in fireplace or appliance should not exceed 20 per cent moisture content. This is very important so that you do not get an excessive amount of creosote build up in the chimney or appliance used. A moisture meter can be purchase and it shows the moisture content of the wood you are going to use. Wood should be seasoned for at least one year before use because it will burn better and put off more heat for your fire. Green wood (unseasoned) contains 100 per cent moisture and will cause creosote build up and you will not get a HOT fire. This causes a chimney build up and can cause a chimney fire. (Fireplace or appliance chimney).

So lets get started:

1.  Stack some small pieces of wood or kindling ( 1” Max” Thickness 1"x 1") ​sticks. This kindling is the starter fire. Quick heat build up is the result and sets the larger wood on fire. The kindling fire is below the larger pieces of wood. As the heat builds up add more kindling to keep the kindling fire HOT after the larger pieces of wood are on flame.

2.  You will not need to keep adding kindling. After the fire is getting hotter and hotter you will need to regulate the heat build up by the amount of fuel and air the fire has to live on. Stoves and some fireplaces have controls at the bottom of the door to regulate how much air enters the firebox area.

3.  Once fire is established you then only need to add wood as long as you want the warmth from the fireplace or appliance. I highly recommend a “Stove Thermometer” be used on Fireplace Inserts and Free Standing stoves so that you know how hot the fire actually is. Most thermometers have three sections marked off. Starting of fire, best operation and TOO hot. (Never let your appliance get in this last area because it can cause a fire and also do damage to your appliance)

If you have an insert or freestanding stove I highly recommend you read the manual in full so that you know how your appliance works. By doing this and using the “thermometer” your appliance will give you the warmth you want and will keep the appliance from over heating.

Never leave an open fire unattended like in a open fireplace. Stoves (inserts and freestanding stoves) have doors while burning which keeps the fire contained.