How to use a fireplace. Starting a fire in an open-heart or a prefabricated fireplace needs to be done carefully if you want it to burn safely. Before even thinking of lighting the stove, clean every nook and cranny thoroughly.
You want to make sure that there are no flammables like toys, clothes, and pillows lying around in proximity to the flames. Children should be kept away from the area until they start using the fireplace.
How to use a fireplace
While wood-burning fireplaces are great for keeping your house warm and cozy during winter, a fireplace will only be as good as the technique of how it is used.
A burning mistake can turn into a needless mess or even an expensive cleanup cost. There are some easy ways to use a fireplace the right way.
However, this article goes over some specific actions you need to take and precautions that should be taken when it comes down to using one of these common household items.
Before you start using your fireplace for the first time, it’s a good idea to review some basic safety precautions. First of all, go through your home or apartment and resolve any safety issues.
That may arise such as checking whether your smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher are each in working order (make sure their batteries are fresh).
Removing anything harmful within three feet of the fireplace in case stray sparks escape the hearth and use a fireplace screen at all times.
Make sure there aren’t any obstructions like animal nests clogging up your chimney flue before lighting a fire.
Sort out the kindling
Assemble pieces of kindling that are small, medium, and large. In order to be efficient in the fire-building process below, make sure the wood is dry, seasoned, and has been split at least six months ago.
To minimize smoke and soot, choose either hardwood or softwood for your fire; though hardwoods like oak or maple burn for longer periods of time and create more heat with sustained combustion, softwoods like cedar or pine start fires easier because they ignite quickly.
The remaining wood will be stored back in the firewood rack, which should preferably be kept outdoors in an elevated location with plenty of exposure to air circulation but protected from excessive moisture (the sun is fine as long as it’s not too hot).
It’s important to open the damper before starting a fire in your fireplace. This keeps the smoke and toxic fumes from billowing into your home by allowing them to escape.
If the damper isn’t opening as it should, don’t light a fire in your fireplace until it has been looked at and fixed by a qualified chimney sweep.
Priming the flue
Now that you have your fireplace installed, it’s time to create a cozy ambiance providing warmth and energy for your home. Begin by building a fire.
To get the fire going, gather newspaper and wood for starter pieces. Proceed to start the wood-burning safely by lighting the smaller pieces of paper and placing them on top of the logs so as to ignite them easier.
Once you have some flames creating an enjoyable atmosphere, that’s when you can use bigger logs exclusively designed for starting fires later in place of lighter papers.
Tossing too many logs on at once with being an attempt to go too quickly can easily lead to burnt fingers or a fire blazing out of control.
Build a fire
To build a fire, the CSIA recommends using the top-down method of peat, paper, and kindling.
Start by donning thick fireplace gloves that can withstand high temperatures, grabbing a metal poker, placing large pieces of wood in one-row perpendicular to the opening of your fireplace then setting smaller pieces on top in stacks.
The tiniest bits (which can be made up of wood shavings or bunched-up newspapers) should go at the very top just before you ignite it with a match.
The fire should travel down, igniting all the areas underneath without any prompting from you. Let the fire burn for as long as you’d like before adding some damp newspaper to help put out the flames.
And ensure no embers are left burning after which close your smoke baffle to make sure you have a smokeless environment inside your home before leaving your hearth unattended during this crucial time.