Thursday, November 10, 2011

How to Start a Fire

I enjoy having a wood stove for heat. The heat penetrates and keeps me warmer than other forms of heat.
The supplies I use throughout the winter to start and maintain fires are; seasoned wood (usually Juniper), newspaper, kindling and lighters. Items I use occasionally are: lint, toilet paper rolls, cardboard, junk mail and magazines.

When I start a fire, I crumple up newspaper or other forms of paper i.e. junk mail, and place on the floor of the stove. I crumple it to allow little pockets of air which the fire needs to burn. If the paper is not crumpled it won't burn well and will burnout quickly. Sometimes I add lint which I stuffed into empty toilet paper rolls to give it a boost. Lint burns easily and quickly.

Crumpled paper.
Next I place dry, thin pieces of kindling; twigs, splintered pieces of wood from spliting wood, pieces of board from projects and even leaves. I place them in a criss-cross style to allow air to circulate through. After they are in place, I set a piece of wood on top ensuring space between it and the kindling to give the fire air. 
Wood on kindling.
Lastly, I start the paper on fire with a lighter. I leave the vent door open slightly to allow enough air to get the fire going. Then I sit back with my hot chocolate and relax. 
Fire. Wood will shift as fire burns kindling. 
Safety precautions when heating with wood:
  • Each year the chimney needs to be cleaned professionally to ensure repairs aren't needed and to prevent fires caused from collected soot. 
  • Have a working fire extinguisher handy at all times. Not next to the fire though just nearby. 
  • Do not leave lighter near fire. It can heat up and explode. 
  • Having working smoke detectors. 
  • Keep children away from the stove and all supplies, especially the lighters. 
  • Ensure the door and vent is closed to stove before you leave it unattended. 

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