The Basics of Starting a Fire in your Fireplace

Part of the fascination of finally owning a house with a fireplace is, obviously, the thrill of having to start your own fire. Turns out that not many people know how to do so, so they are going to have to learn the proper way around it. The first thing that you, the reader, are going to discover is that there are different techniques available.

There are two basic methods: the top and down methods. A lot of people prefer to use the down method because not as much soot is created and there seems to be fewer ashes. Others indicate that the wood goes a lot further as well.

To get you started, you need to gather all of the items needed to have your fire going. These will be a couple of medium sized logs, depending on the opening in your fireplace. Then you will need some kindling (small sticks of wood): about 12 pieces of this should be adequate. You will want some newspaper that you can use to start the kindling and a fire source such as a firestarter or matches.

Once you’ve gathered all your necessary items, you want to check that all the air vents for the fireplace are totally open. Make sure that the wood logs that you are using are totally dry. Place these in the open unit of the fireplace.

Next, add a layer of smaller logs, and then on top of this a couple of layers of kindling. Make sure that there are small empty spaces between the pieces of wood that you are adding.

Now you can put your scraps of newspaper on top: these are the ones you’re going to light (not the kindling, not the logs!). Make sure that you close the door of the fire place, if it has one, and the fire should now be able to burn on its own. If you are not getting enough air to the fire, you may have to open the door slightly to allow more oxygen in to fuel the fire.