Read this blog before you fire up that wood-burner this season.

If you’re lucky enough to have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, you’re probably looking forward to that much-anticipated first fire of the season. But before making the trek to the woodpile, make sure you’re fully prepared to fire-up! Here are some tips for making great fires and keeping them safe.

Building a Fire

For the best fires, burn high quality, properly cured and split hardwoods like oak, birch, ash and maple. There are many ways to build a fire, but here are some basic steps:

  • Open the flue and startup air controls, if applicable.
  • Make sure there aren’t any matches or combustible items near the firebox, and we’d recommend wearing fire-resistant gloves.
  • Place several wads of dry, crumpled-up newspaper in the firebox.
  • Lay dry sticks of kindling on top of the paper.
  • Light a twisted piece of newspaper and hold it under the flu to create a draft. Once you have a draft, light the paper and kindling, and close the door.
  • Once the kindling is burning, open the door and add three to four full-length logs, stacking them about 1” apart for airflow, and so they don’t smother the fire.
  • Close the door and enjoy the fire!

You can watch a video with step-by-step instructions here.

Safety First – Always!

We all know that fire is hot and can be dangerous. But what you may not know is that the Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates that more than 26,000 residential structural fires start in chimneys or fireplaces each year. Don’t be a statistic. Before firing up, take these steps to better ensure your fireplace and chimney are in good condition.

  • Hire a chimney sweep once a year
  • Remove ashes from your fireplace or stove on a regular basis
  • Watch for warning signs like excessive smoke, which could be an indication that your fireplace, stove or chimney isn’t operating properly.

And last, but certainly not least, if you have a masonry-built open wood fireplace, consider having an EPA-certified insert installed. Inserts like the Voyageur Grand will turn your fireplace into a powerful heat source. They’re outfitted with technologies that burn and re-burn the wood, smoke and gases, producing very warm, long-lasting fires. They also significantly reduce creosote buildup.

Voyageur Grand Wood Insert

Stay safe and warm this fall and winter!

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