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.
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.
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.
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.