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How to make the perfect log fire with Big K firelighters and seasoned hardwood logs

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How to make the perfect log fire with Big K firelighters and seasoned hardwood logs

Where it all began

Open fires have long held fascination and appeal. Fire has been in use by man since the Prehistoric times. There is evidence that the Paleolithic man used fires in caves and rock shelters where they lived. They learned that friction produced the vital spark to light it. As time went on fire was put to different uses: warmth, heating, lighting, cooking, warding off animals, clearing forests and for making tools. It became one of the most prominent discoveries that marked man's progress.

Making a Log Fire

Nowadays, indoor fires have retained their charm. There is something very comforting about relaxing with a glass of wine on a lazy Sunday in front of a crackling log fire on a cold winter's night.

To make a log fire takes practice and it is advisable to take the utmost care when you do so at home as lighting a fire is always dangerous.

Having said that, lighting a fire at home is simple to do but there are some steps to take in order to make the ideal log fire.

Maintain your Chimney

Before you start your fire ensure that the chimney has been maintained. Depending on how often you use your fire at home think about hiring a professional chimney sweep to inspect your chimney and fireplace to ensure that it is completely safe and to clean it out.

Keep Pets and Children at Bay

Pets and children should also be kept away from the fire once it is lit and the fire should not be left unattended until it is completely safe to do so and it has a fireguard in front of it.

Sweep the Hearth

The first thing to do before you light your fire is to make sure your fire hearth is swept and cleaned before use. Just take a hand shovel and a brush and sweep away all the remains of the previous fire to prepare your fireplace for use.

The grate can be raked with a poker and the remaining ash swept away with a brush. Any left over unburnt logs can be kept to help light the new fire.

With an open fire it is adviseable to take the utmost care when cleaning as the previous fire may contain hot ashes and cinder so do take extra precautions. Beware when you empty the pan of ash and cinders. Tip it very slowly into a container fit for the purpose, for instance a fireproof one, such as a metal one which is kept on the hearth.

When you have done this put all the things you have removed back onto the fire so you can start to light it.

How to Light a Log Fire

First open the window to get some ventilation in the room and provide enough air for the fire to light.

You can use a variety of materials to start the fire but generally you will need newspaper, firelighters or a fire log and kindling and firewood.

Lay a couple of balls of scrunched up newspaper down first, then add kindling (splinters of wood) or firelighters on top of the newspaper balls. Add some seasoned firewood on top. ( use small pieces first). Then open the dampener so that the air can go through and help ignite the fire. Light the fire by igniting the paper balls either with a match or using a fire lighter.

You can use fire bellows to help increase the amount of oxygen into the fire so that it burns quicker.

To ensure the fire burns with maximum efficiency it is best to use seasoned firewood logs, wood that has been chopped and left in a dry enclosed place (ideally for two years). You will get less heat from unseasoned wood - wood that has just been chopped and is full of sap is the worst kind to use as energy is used to evaporate the water so it is much less efficient and you get less heat coming from your fire.

Once the fire is well under way you can add small logs and then some larger logs when the fire has really got going. You need patience to do this otherwise the fire will go out, which can be very frustrating.

When the fire is really underway replace the fireguard and sit back and enjoy it.

There is simply nothing better than relaxing in front of a fire in the comfort of your armchair on a cold night. Watching the colourful flames flicker and breathing in the wonderful homely and inviting smell of burning wood is simply bliss!

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