Burning Tips

Tips for Sure Fire Starts and Easy Burning

  1. For easy burning of any size log ensure that the fireplace has a good hot bed of coals first. (Gaslog lighters may not ignite 3 or 4 large sections of Firewood).
  2. Use 3 or 4 pieces of newspaper and LOTS OF KINDLING (use the bark and splinters or split a smaller piece of wood into 1” and 2” sizes). Put another section of newspaper crumpled on top before lighting. (It’s important to get a good draft or drawing situation in the firebox and chimney flue) Turn the fresh air fan on low if you have one.
  3. Burn smaller pieces for 15 -20 minutes before adding large logs one at a time. For easier combustion criss-cross the logs when adding to the fire.
  4. Open all dampers and fresh air supply sources fully when starting the fire. If the fireplace has glass doors leave them open a crack to starts. This assists the drawing action of the fire and reduces the tendency for the fire to deposit smoke and creosote on glass doors when the glass is cold.
  5. STOKE THE FIRE TO A BRISK BURN EVERY 15-20 MINUTES. Remember if you adjust air inlets to achieve longer burn that this type of fire produces some smoke and creosote.
  6. Do not leave the fireplace unattended when the doors are open.
  7. DO NOT CLOSE DOWN THE DAMPER COMPLETELY. Most systems require a substantial supply of air not only for combustion and heating purposes but for cooling the outer shell of the unit as well.
  8. Keep 6 or 7 sticks in the house to be ready for the next fire.

Safety First

    1. Cut wood the right length for your firebox.
    2. Don’t over fire your stove or fireplace.
    3. Artificial logs contain paraffin which burns very hot. Do not burn more than one at a time.
    4. Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
    5. Inspect the chimney regularly for creosote build-up.
    6. NEVER use firestarter, gasoline, kerosene, or other similar fuels!


For more details on stoves, fireplaces, and wood refer to the publication WOOD HEATING available from Alberta Department of Energy and to the manual that comes with most fireplaces.