How To Safely Build a Fire in Wood Stoves

Fire in Wood Stoves

If you’ve recently purchased a wood fireplace or wood stove in Niagara Falls, you may not have yet gotten the knack of building a fire. Fire-making isn’t a common skill anymore, but it’s important to master it! You’ll enjoy your stove more with a proper fire, plus using the right technique will reduce any fire hazards.

So, here’s a quick guide for building a great wood stove fire, every time.

Fire-Building 101: Prepping A Wood Stove

The basic trick to making a wood stove fire is that you build it from the bottom up, with each higher layer being easier to ignite than the previous lower layer. So, the top is easy to set on fire, and then the fire naturally spreads downward as everything heats up.

Step 1: You need to start with some fairly large pieces of wood at the bottom. This will vary a bit depending on the size of your stove, but they should be at least 3-5 inches in diameter. You should use several of these pieces, set side by side.

Step 2: Next come some medium-sized logs, around half the size of the bottom layer. These should again be laid side-by-side, and perpendicular (crisscross) to the lower level. This allows the smaller logs to stack on top of the larger logs.

Step 3: Now you add a third layer of wood. These should be small logs, even smaller than the previous layer. Again, they’re laid side-by-side and crisscrossed from the second layer so they all stack properly.

Step 4: Next, place some fine kindling on top of the third layer, as best as you can. These should be shards, branches, and other very small pieces of wood. You probably won’t be able to stack them as before but make sure they’re generally higher than the previous layer.

Step 5: Now it’s time to add the part you actually ignite. Newspaper knots (literally newspaper rolled up and tied in a knot) are the most popular choice, since newspaper is extremely easy to ignite, and the knot allows it to hold a bit more heat. Cardboard can also be used as an ignition source if needed. This goes above the kindling, at the very top of the stack.

Step 6: Before actually starting the fire, make sure your damper is open and the combustion fan is running if your stove uses one. You don’t want smoke pouring out.

Step 7: Fire! Light the newspaper or cardboard on top, using a long-stemmed match or a stick lighter. After that lights on fire, the flames should quickly spread downwards. Once the lowest level of large logs ignites, your stove is ready to go.

Choose Stamford Fireplaces for Top-Quality Wood Stoves in Niagara Falls

For over 40 years we’ve been the best source in the area for fireplaces and wood-burning stoves, as well as cleaning, maintenance, and repair services. No matter the type of fireplace or stove you have, or what you’re looking to install, we’re here to help!

Contact us to learn more.