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Fireplace Tips
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Godzilla’s Tree Services - 916-871-6083 - Fireplace Tips

The Art of Fire, plus Some Tips on Building a Fire in your Fireplace or Wood Stove.

The fun of fireplaces and wood stoves is in the enjoyment of the wonderful warmth, sounds and aromas they provide.
Also a great part of the fun and enjoyment is in tending a fire, and in learning how to build and maintain a great fire over the course of the day.

Fires need maintenance and you can take great pride and satisfaction in how you maintain and tend to your fire. For example, when the fire goes down simple rearranging of the wood with a poker can enliven a smoldering fire back to its former glory.

Learning and knowing when to add wood, to rearrange the wood, and to manage the coals and fire, provides a great feeling of skill in this most ancient of arts, the art of fire.

Warm cozy fire made with great fire starting tips

Some Tips on Building a Fire in your Fireplace or Wood Stove.

Before building a fire for the first time this season, it is is a good idea to check the following items.

1. It is a good idea to do a general safety inspection of your fireplace, or wood stove, for anything that could cause a problem.

2. Take a close look at your fireplace for any damage such as cracks, loose bricks, etc. If a wood stove, look for broken or warped metal parts, or damaged fire grates. Also inspect the metal flue for alignment and for any holes or damage.

3. Inspect the flue for creosote buildup and get this cleaned by a chimney sweep before you start your fire. A chimney sweep is an expert who will also inspect your system for you. See that your spark arrestor is in place on the roof and see that no bird nests have been built in, on, or around the area. Also clean out the old ash.

4. Make sure the damper is open! This is the easiest thing to forget, as it is out of sight and makes things rather interesting, and not much fun, when you forget. We have probably all done this one time or another.

5. Now to build a fire. Any good fire needs air, dry wood, and kindling. Clean out any ash or debris from your fireplace or stove, as this restricts the air flow. Place some small dry sticks of kindling wood such as pine, at angles that allow a nice airflow under the main wood on top of the fire grate. There should be unrestricted air space under your fire wood. The wood should be towards the middle back of the fireplace.

6. Place good dry wood logs, like Oak or mixed fire woods, cut or split into traditional wedges that fit your fireplace or wood stove on top of the kindling. For a fireplace, three pieces or four pieces of wood is best placed so that there is air flow around them, and not tightly compact. Do not overload the fireplace with wood. You want a nice comforting fire, not an inferno.

7. In the airspace below the kindling, stuff crumpled newspaper that does not have colored printing on it. Re-check that the flue is open! Light the paper. With the proper airflow, and dry wood you should have a nice comfortable fire going very shortly.

8. Follow all your local area laws, codes, regulations and restrictions, if any, on burning. Check with your local fire department for more information and tips. Never leave any fire unattended. Make sure you have a good fireplace screen in place and any combustible materials away from the fireplace or stove. Do not burn plastics, colored ink, gift wrap, or anything other than good firewood, as toxins may be created. Never, never, use flammable liquids of any kind to start a fire, or throw on a fire that is already started or smoldering.

9. Be respectful of fire and soon you will master the art of fire, and enjoy its rewards.

10. A fire in a fireplace or wood stove takes on a life of its own that you carefully and skillfully tend. It provides warmth and a sense of satisfaction that springs forth from somewhere in your inner senses of mankind’s ancient beginnings. Enjoy.

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