5 Tips and Tricks for Creating the Perfect Fire

There’s nothing better than getting cosy in front of a roaring fire when it’s cold and wet outside. The warmth, the sound, and the light from a fire all make for the perfect winter setting. So with that in mind, just how do you get the perfect indoor fire this year? 

Let’s find out. 

1. Order your logs
A good fire needs a good design. There needs to be plenty of space for the fire to breathe, and also a good placement of logs to ensure it burns for the longest time possible.

Every fire needs a good base, so starting with a grate or fire basket is always a good idea. Not just for the fact it will keep your logs in position, but also to improve airflow from underneath and spread the heat around your full fireplace. 

Once you have the grate in place, it’s time to fill it. If using logs, order them in terms of size. The largest ones should be at the bottom, with smaller logs on top. 

The trick to forming your stack is to lay a few bigger logs along the bottom, running in the same direction. Then build up a second row of smaller logs in the other direction, and so on.

This way you will not just have a steady stack that is unlikely to topple over, but your longest burners will be at the bottom constantly keeping the fire strong. 

Don’t forget to place things in your fire to keep it going, such as scrunched up paper, kindling, and firelighters. These will provide a big boost when starting your fire with short flashes of intense heat. 

Leave some gaps for your fire to breathe and for the heat to spread throughout, and be patient. While your fire may not light immediately, it shouldn’t take too long before your front room is lit up by a roaring flame. 

2. Use tools to help
If you have a coal fire at home, it can be tricky to keep the fire burning. It is definitely worth investing in some specialist equipment to help you make the most of your fireplace. You can never have too many tools to help you keep your fire going strong, and here’s some of the best:

  • A coal shovel. Coal isn’t the easiest of items to move without proper equipment. To avoid getting your hands dirty, and also to make sure you’re getting a good portion of coal in your fireplace every time, a coal shovel is an absolute must-have. 
  • Of course, if you’ve got a lot of coal, you’re going to need somewhere to store it. A coal bucket is not just convenient, but also adds a stylish touch to your fireplace. If you prefer a log burner, there’s a stylish bucket to store your kindling as well. Whichever item you use for fuel, keeping it nearby means you can reach it quickly if you notice your fire starting to drop and you need to get it back on track before it’s too late. 
  • If you need to move your logs or coal, it wouldn’t be wise to try and use your hands. Having a pair of cast iron tongs nearby is a great way to add, remove or simply shake up your fire and keep it going strong. 
  • When your fire needs livening up, giving it a poke with a fire poker is a great way of quickly letting some air get in, and heating up some new coals or kindling that were not yet burning. 
  • If you want to breathe new life into your fire, give it a gust of air with some fireplace bellows. This item is great to look at and perfect for springing a dying flame back to life. Simply squeeze and watch your coals and logs begin to glow again as the fire is reignited. 
  • Now, with all these tools at your disposal, you need somewhere to keep them. Our fireside companion set provides a traditional and stylish way of keeping all of your equipment at hand and at your disposal should you need them.
3. Keep it Clean

Having a clean fire is a large part of having a good fire. This starts from the base of the fire, right up to the chimney. 

Don’t panic, I’m not saying you need to have your chimney swept after every fire. Once a year is usually enough. It is best to get this done at the start of the cold season before you start to use your fire regularly. 

But you may need to clean your fireplace more regularly. 

If the ash and debris at the bottom of your fireplace are growing to such a height that you can’t fit a fire in, it’s definitely time for a sweep out. Also, if the ash and wood or starting to cause an odd smell, or burn in an odd way, it may be time for a sweep. A dirty fireplace can also die out quicker, and maintaining a full flame will be tough. 

This is where having a tool at hand, such as our cast iron brush, is vital. 

Simply brush out the remains into a bin liner or plastic bag and your fireplace will be as good as new. 

For a really deep clean, remove the grate, and take it outside. Now you can really clean the grate and the fireplace. This should definitely be done before your first fire, and be done periodically throughout the winter. 

Remember, always wear gloves, and always leave a few days since the last fire before you touch it as some items may still be burning away.

4. Use a Guard
Something that is fashionable as well as been functional, is a fire screen. These come in many designs and are sure to give your living room a traditional feel.

Whether opting for a classic look, or something that just gets the job done, a fire screen always adds a stylish touch to any interior.

These items have plenty of other benefits too. As beautiful as they are to look at, a fire is a dangerous thing. When there’s young children or pets also enjoying the warmth, a fire screen is an essential item to keep them from getting too close to the flames.

Our extending nursery child safety fireguard has been designed to keep a strong perimeter around your fire and make sure no little hands go anywhere near it.

But it’s not just things going into the fire you need to be aware of. Fires can crack and embers can spit out. If left unattended, these may land on a carpeted floor and start a fire.

A safety screen stops anything from coming out of the fire and landing in the room. This, added to the fact they’re stopping anything from going in, makes having a good fire screen an absolute necessity. 

A fireplace should be the central point of your room, so make sure it always looks its best and is at its safest with a decorated fire screen.

5. Pick the Right Logs
If you want to enjoy a log fire, you must make sure you select the right logs for the job. 

Firstly, and most importantly, make sure your logs are dry. If they’re damp, then they won’t light. Always keep your firewood covered, and if you have the space try and keep it indoors. 

A great item to make sure your fire is burning for a long time is to use a fireglow fire log. This item burns for 90 minutes and lights quickly, making it the perfect base for a long-lasting fire.

When picking the kind of wood to use, hardwood is always the best option. This is because the logs are much denser than their softwood counterparts, which means they burn for longer and give off extreme heat. 

At YTC, we have plenty of options of wood, including our fuel express hardwood logs, and are ready to burn kiln dried birch logs, both of which offer longevity when burning. 

Hardwood also boasts the benefit of containing less residue, which means when they burn, it doesn’t stain your chimney as much. 

A fire is great when it lasts for a long time and keeps the room warm all night, so don’t settle for anything but the best wood to ensure you don’t have to keep getting up and adding new logs. 

Burning wood is a great way to heat your home. It means you don’t have to flick your heating on and can heat up your home whilst also enjoying the wonderful sounds and sights of a roaring fire. 

Making a fire last relies on many things, but mostly it is about being prepared. Knowing how to stack, and having the best wood, coal, and tools for the job are key ways of ensuring your fire gives off good heat, for a long period of time. 

If you want to explore our full range of firewood, take a look here. We also have a fireside accessories range, which can be found here. Take a look and get your fireplace ready to create the perfect warm winter environment this year.

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