There are few things more inviting and relaxing than a fire in your fireplace. The dancing flames, the crackling embers, and the fragrant woodsy smell are all wonderful elements of a cozy fire.
Starting a fire in a fireplace isn’t rocket science. But it’s important to do things right to get a great fire going quickly and to prevent any frustrations.
This helpful how-to article will provide some easy tips and tricks to light up your fireplace with a cozy fire. The whole process won’t take long.
You’ll need some basic items to get your fireplace prepared for the fire. I’ll discuss them below. Most of these items are probably sitting around your home right now. If not, you can find many of these things at a local store, or even in a nearby forest.
You’re just a few short steps away from having the perfect fire roaring in your fireplace. Keep reading to find out how.
1 Items Needed to Start the Perfect Fire in a Fireplace
Before you start building a fire in a fireplace you should gather the following items:
- Some kind of paper, such as newspaper or printer paper
- Small sticks or logs; sometimes referred to as kindling or tinder
- Larger logs
- A lighter or matches
2 Step-by-step Instructions
Now that you have all the necessary items to start the perfect fire in a fireplace, follow these easy step-by-step instructions.
You can click on each step to see a picture of the process.
2.1 Step 1: Make sure your damper is open and nothing is blocking your chimney
- Use a flashlight to look inside the fireplace to see if the damper is closed. The damper is used to open and close a passage in the chimney to let the smoke out.
- Find the handle for the damper and open it if necessary.
- Light a small piece of paper in the fireplace to make sure the smoke goes up the chimney.
- If the smoke is not going up the chimney proceed to step 2. Otherwise, skip to step 3.
2.2 Step 2: Correcting the air flow
- Allow room temperature air to flow through the fireplace and up the chimney for about ten minutes.
- Light another small piece of paper to check the airflow to make sure the smoke goes up the chimney.
- Repeat this process until your smoke goes up and out the chimney.
2.3 Step 3: Lay the foundation for your fire
Placing your paper at the bottom of your sticks and logs will generate a lot of heat and flame to ignite the larger pieces of tinder and wood in your fire.
- Loosely crunch or crumple several pieces of your paper. Don’t compact the paper too much! You want the paper to burn easily, and the tighter you crush it the harder it is to burn.
- Lay the paper in the bottom of your fireplace so there’s an even layer to put your small logs and kindling on.
Warning! Never use any highly flammable fluids to help start your fire. Gasoline or lighter fluid isn’t required and is actually extremely dangerous when lighting a fire in your fireplace. Your home may burn down if you attempt to use these products on your fire.
2.4 Step 4: Add your kindling
- Gently lay the smaller pieces of wood onto the paper. Add just enough small pieces to almost completely cover the paper, but leave enough room so you can light the paper with your match or lighter.
- You can lay the pieces horizontally, or vertically so they stand up like a tepee.
- Add larger pieces of kindling on top of the smaller pieces.
2.5 Step 5: Add larger pieces of wood
- Put a few medium-sized pieces of wood on top of the smaller pieces.
- Don’t stack the wood so it’s too tightly packed. You want to leave some spaces between the wood for air to feed the fire, which will allow the wood to get hotter and ignite the other pieces.
- Build the base of your newspaper, sticks, and other pieces of wood so it’s about half the height of the space in your fireplace.
2.6 Step 6: Light your fire
- Use your lighter or match to light the newspaper.
- Try to light the paper in several different spots.
- Light the paper at the back of the pile first, and work your way forward. Using long matches or a long-handled lighter will make it easier to reach the paper in the back.
2.7 Step 7: Watch you fire closely
- You want your fire to burn evenly. Use a fire poker or long piece of wood to move sticks and logs around so everything starts to burn at the same time.
- Add additional sticks to help the fire grow if it looks like it might go out.
- Blow on the fire or use a bellows to give it oxygen. This will help it burn better.
2.8 Step 8: Add bigger logs when the fire is burning well
- Once your fire is burning well you can add larger pieces of wood.
- Put on fire protection gloves if you have them.
- Place your bigger logs on the hottest parts of the fire.
- Move logs around with a fire poker or long piece of wood to keep the fire even.
What Items are Needed to Start the Fire in a Fireplace?
To start a fire in a fireplace you'll need some kind of paper, small sticks, larger logs, and lighter or matches.
Why Using Highly Flammable Fluids to Start Fire in Fireplace is Dangerous?
Gasoline or lighter fluid is extremely dangerous when lighting a fire in your fireplace. Never use any highly flammable fluids to help start your fire!
When Do you Need to add Bigger Logs to your Fire in Fireplace?
Add bigger logs when the fire is burning well.
4 In Conclusion
Congratulations! You may now enjoy your warm roaring fire. It wasn’t that hard, was it? Nice job!
Every fire is a little different. Sometimes they roar to life right away. Other times it takes a little more effort. The more fires you start the better you will get at learning how the fire will act.
You will also develop your own style for laying the newspaper and kindling to start your fire. There are many different ways to do this. Don’t be afraid to experiment. A different configuration might work better for you.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions please let me know.
I hope you enjoyed reading these instructions as much as I enjoyed writing them for you. Please share these steps with anyone you know who may want to start a fire in a fireplace.