How to Light a Fire

Getting Set to Light a Fire!

Everyone knows how to light a fire, right?

No, wait.  Do read this.  I know everyone knows how to light a fire, but trust me, there is a better way.

Traditionally, what does everyone do to light a fire?  You put some paper down, you put some twigs on that, some bits and bobs on top of that, logs on the to, and then you light the paper.  My grandmother used to add excitement to the mix, by pouring paraffin all over it before lighting it.  Believe me, lighting the fire was an event when I was young.  I often had a grandmother with no eyebrows, but that’s by the way.

Now all that is pretty normal (if you deduct the paraffin) but it really is not the safest, best or the easiest way to light a fire.  For starters, paper is filthy stuff.  When it is made, they incorporate clay into the mix and when it burns, it forms great mineralised flakes of ash that block the flow of air through the fire bed and poor air flow can bring the process to a halt.  Fashion magazines and other glossy paper is the worst.

Secondly, gravity is against you all the way.  If the twigs start to burn, then as they do, all the hot bits fall away from the heart, making it weak and less likely to catch.

Finally, if the fire doesn’t catch, you have to demolish it and start over again.  That’s a FILTHY job and leaves you covered in ash and soot to the elbows.

Instead, why not give our method of how to light a fire a go…

  • Put the paper out for recycling and start with kiln dried hardwood logs.
  • Arrange them in the hearth so they form a solid layer at the bottom.
  • Then build the fire upside down on that with the small twigs at the top.  A useful tip, if you have a garden is throughout the year, take all the trimmings, twigs and prunings and cut them into small bits, and store it in the garage, or somewhere dry in a cardboard box.  When dry, it is excellent kindling.
  • Finally, take a firelighter – or if you are mean like me, half a firelighter and tuck it into the twigs before you light a fire.

Now, as the twigs burn and drop, all the hot bits fall onto the kiln dried hardwood at the bottom, where they create a hot heart that starts the logs off that bit quicker.  Should the fire falter or not catch, the joy is that you don’t have to dirty your hands with sooty twigs.  Simply put another handful of twigs on the top of the fire and you are good to go immediately.

So to recap.

  1. Don’t light your fire the usual way.
  2. Scrap the paper and build it upside down.
  3. Use twigs and prunings from the garden as a source of kindling when dry.
  4. The best fuel to use is kiln dried hardwood logs
  5. Keep your chimney safe and clean by getting a certified chimney sweep every year.


Don’t worry if you don’t have a stash of twigs to burn, we can now supply your kindling and firelighters to help you light a fire, as well as supply your fuel for your open fires and stoves.

Now is the ideal time to order your fuel for your stoves and open fires in preparation for the cold months ahead and to avoid being caught out by a cold snap.

We now sell fuel for your stoves and open fires

  • Kiln dried hardwood
  • Seasoned hardwood
  • Part seasoned hardwood
  • House coal
  • Smokeless coal


  • Kindling
  • Firelighters
  • Log stores
  • Log Baskets
  • Select from varying quantities
  • Conveniently delivered and packaged for you (choice of crate, pallet, nets, dumpy bag) – no need to run out and make multiple trips to the supermarket for a bag of fuel
  • Free delivery on all orders (minimum order £90)
  • Delivery within 7 working days (of order placed)

For more information and to place your order, please call us on 01223 964597 or email

Download our Fuel Brochure here


Don’t forget to get your chimney swept annually (even if you have a stove installed)! It is vital for maintaining its safety and to avoid the risk of a chimney fire. Make sure that you get a certified chimney sweep and listen to his advice.  As a certified chimney sweep he will have a wealth of information at his finger tips and will be able to give your chimney the once over as he sweeps it so as to make sure it is safe as well as clean and to avoid the risk of a chimney fire.

Call now 01223 964792 to book your annual chimney sweep to make sure you are safe for the Autumn and Winter ahead.

Oh and by the way…

Keep an eye out for our newsletter for special offers on fuel and other product and service discounts along with industry news and articles, top tips, advice and awareness on all things chimney, stove and fireplace related.

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