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Even though stories portray lighting a fire as simple as getting friction from two sticks and making sparks to start flames, properly lighting your fireplace is a little more difficult.  However, when knowing tips on the right materials and the order to setting up, it can be simple.  First, make sure your fireplace is safe to house a fire.  Checking parts, having a chimney sweep, and other routine maintenance fixes are all important components to a stable fire.

Roaring Fire - Nashville TN - Ashbusters

Roaring Fire – Nashville TN – Ashbusters

First, you should make sure you have all the right types of wood.  For the kindling stage you should use thin branches, generally smaller than a person’s wrist.  Softer wood, such as spruce and pine, can also be used for this part of the fire.  The softer wood also contains resin, which can form creosote and put you in more danger of having a house fire.  The logs are also important and should be aged for six to twelve months.  Freshly cut wood will burn unevenly and create both an unpleasant odor and a large amount of smoke.  Woods such as ash, maple, and oak are some of the better choices to use for logs.

Oxygen is also important to building a fire.  The oxygen circulates through the burning pieces keeping the fire moving as fuel is created from the fire.   Tinder is something you will need, usually paper bags, newspapers, or wood chips, to be the base of your fire.  For safety and clean up purposes some handy things to have may be a fireplace screen, stove gloves, and an ash rake.

The first step to building your fire is to place your fire starters and/or your layer of tinder.  Then the kindling is placed on top of that.  Lastly, arrange the logs on the top of the fire.  Remember that moist logs will not light the same as dry wood.  Another hint is placing the logs criss-crossed where the fire can breathe and come up through the spaced between the logs.

Now that you have a few helpful hints you are well on your way to having a nice fire.  Make sure you have proper chimney upkeep, as the fireplace is not the only part working with the fire.  And above all, the most important thing to remember is to never leave your fire unattended.