Knowing how to build a fire in the fireplace can be helpful information on a cold winter’s night. If you’ve never started a fire in a fireplace, here’s how to get started.
Clean the fireplace area. Be sure all flammable materials, such as drapes, magazines, books, clothing and home decor items, are well away from the fireplace, according to the East Side Fire Department. If you have a mantel, check that nothing is hanging off of it.
Check the chimney. Make sure the protective liners of your chimney are in good working order. Search for a certified professional to help clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney. When looking for a professional, you may want to ask these questions from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA):
Clear the air. Be sure the room where your fireplace is located has been well ventilated and is free of any flammable fumes and gases.
When you’re ready to set up and light the fire, be sure to follow these steps from the National Chimney Sweep Guild (NSCG):
Remember don’t put too much firewood on the fire, according to the NSCG. It is also important to have a three-foot barrier between children and the fire at all times according to the National Fire Protection Association. The NFPA also suggests keeping anything flammable at least three feet away from the fireplace.
Now, you’ll need to remember to put out the fire before going to sleep or leaving your home, says the USFA. Once the fire is out, use your wrought iron utensils to separate the logs to different sides of the fireplace and close the screen or glass doors tightly. Do not close the damper until the fire and coals are completely cooled, adds the NSCG. For safety tips regarding proper ash disposal, visit the Portland Fire & Rescue rescue website.
With the tips above, you can be on your way to safely enjoying your fireplace this season.
Originally published on January 14, 2014.