Skip to main content

How to Start a Fire in a Fireplace

Longing for the coziness of a fire? Follow these tips for a safe and successful experience.


  • : Never use charcoal lighter, kerosene, or gasoline to start a fire in a fireplace.
  • Step 1: Use an axe to split the softwood into foot-long, inch-wide strips for kindling. Crack the hardwood into large pieces. Place the wood by the fireplace.
  • TIP: Use only dry wood, and avoid wood from chestnut trees, which can throw embers.
  • Step 2: Clean your fireplace thoroughly and remove all ashes.
  • Step 3: Lay out the kindling in a cross pattern or pyramid on a spread of newspaper.
  • Step 4: Reverse air flow in the chimney by rolling a newspaper cone and lighting it like a torch. Hold it in the chimney for a minute. This creates an upward draft.
  • Step 5: Touch an ignited match to opposite ends of the paper. The kindling will be enveloped in fire within 10 minutes.
  • Step 6: Maintain the fire at a slow, constant temperature once the kindling catches by placing the large pieces lengthwise or crossed above the kindling. Add more wood as needed.
  • Step 7: Settle in and cozy up to the fire with a good book or that special somebody!
  • FACT: The tallest chimney in the world reaches a height of 1,410 feet.

You Will Need

  • A fireplace
  • An axe
  • Softwood
  • Hardwood
  • Matches
  • Newspaper

Popular Categories