How to light a Fire
Oh umm i meant a fire , was just my daft attempt an attention grabber, lol. Not that anyone probably needs this article BUT you never know right , there’s always somebody somewhere starting out at something so, on with the article.
Make sure the damper, throat, whatever ventilation system or plate is open
- Empty the ash tray. This aids ventilation and draw.
- You will need either firelighters (expensive) or paper and dry sticks (kindling) if you prefer.
- Coal or dry logs.
- If using firelighters then follow the instructions on the packet or…
Take a sheet of newspaper in both hands and crumple it into a long stick.
…and tuck it into a firm ball.
Place it in the grate and continue until there is a layer across the base of the grate.
If you just crumple the sheets and place them in the grate there is a greater amount of air within it which will result in a quicker burn and the likelihood that the wood may not catch fire. Tighter paper has a slower burn and allows the wood to catch fire.
Lay your kindling sticks on top of the paper in a criss-cross fashion allowing the flames from below to get amongst them. Don’t skimp on the wood. More fires fail because of a lack of kindling than any other problem.
Your kindling should be dry and not too thick. The idea is for the paper to light the wood and when the wood has caught to light the coal or the logs.
On top of the wood place a loose layer of coal using tongs if required to place them.
Make sure the fire guard is to hand and put a light to the paper at two or three points along the front. Long stemmed matched are preferred to prevent burning of fingers. Once you are sure it has taken, place the fire guard in front and watch. As the paper burns the fire will drop slightly but by then the wood should be on fire and starting to heat the coal.
Once the coal has caught fire you may add a little more but don’t kill it under a mountain of the stuff. A little, often, is the way to succeed. If you are burning logs then the same principle applies. Small sticks, bigger sticks, small logs, bigger logs, simple! BE PATIENT.
If it does start to struggle try adding some more kindling rather than coal or logs.