How to Start a Fire with Kiln Dried Firewood

Using kiln dired firewood makes building a safe and well-burning fire in a wood-burning fireplace easier... but to avoid backed up smoke and keep those flames burning brighter, follow these ten steps:

  1. First, clean out old ash, then be sure to open the damper -- if you have an adjustable flue, open it halfway. Double check to ensure the draft is moving up the chimney so the fire will not be blown out or the room filled with smoke.
  2. Place crumpled newspaper under the grate and place more on top of the grate, with kindling placed gently on top of the crumpled newspaper. (Fire It Up has excellent kindling to really get things going quickly.)
  3. Place some smaller pieces of your kiln dried hardwood on top of the kindling, and get ready to burn, baby, burn! Using a match or lighter, light two pieces of newspaper that are located at opposite ends of each other.
  4. The fire will start to burn the kindling first. After a few minutes, the kiln dried firewood will begin to catch fire. At that point, you can continue to add pieces of hard wood to the fireplace, stacking the wood horizontally in the fireplace, alternating the layers and leaving spaces for air to pass through. (Double check to ensure that the draft is moving up the chimney and if you want a hotter fire, you can close the flue more, but if smoke builds, open 'er up again!
  5. Make sure that the smoke is not black or gray. Black smoke means that the fire is not getting enough oxygen and is producing harmful carbon monoxide and soot. Gray smoke means that the fire is getting too much oxygen.
  6. Remember to play it safe: Keep a pair of fireproof gloves available just in case a burning log falls out of the fireplace and needs urgent attention. Don't place any flammable or plastic objects near the fire and make sure that rugs and carpets are far enough away from the fireplace. If your fireplace has a metal curtain on it, make sure that the curtain is closed and secured once the fire is burning.
  7. Additionally, do not leave a fire unattended or allow children to remain by a fire unsupervised.
  8. To start chillin', first stop adding wood, and let the fire slow on its own. The cooling process for ashes scan take between 10-15 hours so remember that before you try to clean your fireplace. Use a metal scoop and bucket to be safe. And a good tip for the ashes? Dispose of them in an outdoor compost heap.
  9. Close the flue to keep out drafts.
  10. Contact Fire It Up to keep you well stocked with the perfect wood for the perfect fire.