Getting Lit with

Starting a fire is not as simple as most would imagine. Many factors come into play before enjoying the glow and warmth of a well lit fireplace. Tim Owen the Chief Operations Officer at has been working on chimneys for over 15 years. Tim is an expert when it comes to safe and efficient working fireplaces. "There are a few items that can help just about anyone that wants to learn how to get a well lit fire," says Tim Owen. "I wanted to put together a list that is simple to follow."

Silver Spring, MD, April 10, 2017 --( The fireplace safety list is:

Inspect chimney to ensure it is free of any possible blockages

While the job of a chimney sweep may seem like something from a past era, it really is necessary to clean the fireplace on a seasonal basis before lighting fires. On the off season, animals looking for a place to nest can leave debris. This mixed with leaves that have accumulated can create a blockage that will not allow the fire to properly ventilate, filling your home with smoke. Make sure to call a chimney sweep to inspect and clean the chimney - Jeremy with says to have your flue inspected every season to ensure it is in safe working condition.

Ensure damper is in the open position

This may seem like an obvious step due to the fact that if the damper isn’t open, the smoke will have nowhere to go except into your house, possibly making that first date you were enjoying the last. Make sure the damper is always in the open position to allow the smoke to rise and exit the top of the chimney. If you happen to start the fire before the damper is open, make sure to use something to protect your hand while opening it, as it could already be hot.

Prime the flue

The flue is essentially what one might consider the chimney. The flue will likely be cold as it is located on the outside of your home, so once the damper is open, the cold air will sink and fill the room. The best way to warm the flue is to light a roll of the morning’s paper and hold it up to the damper for a couple of minutes. Once you feel the cold air stop entering the room, the draft has reversed and your flue is primed, warm, and ready for action.

Create a tinder and ash bed

An ash bed in your fireplace hearth of 1-2 inches is ideal for insulation and temperature purposes. Pay attention to the ash level, ensuring there is not too much or too little ash present. Another highly recommended addition to the hearth is tinder. It’s not a bad idea to have a small stash of leaves, straw, or moss at your disposal. Small, crumpled pieces of newspaper also work well. This will create a base that will light long enough to spark the kindling.

Research fire-building methods to find one that works best for you

There are many different ways to stack and light the actual firewood, and it may take some trial and error to find which way works best for you. The simplest way to start is by placing a few large logs on the kindling with a few additional pieces of wood in the alternating direction on top of that. The final suggested touch is a sturdy grate to keep the fire in place and any little ones or pets from getting to close to the actual flames. If you have followed all these steps, your memorable evening or lazy Sunday afternoon should already be underway.

Even with all the skills you have acquired through following the above steps, it always helps to have a professional on hand. offers complete chimney and fireplace repairs and services. Since 1989, has provided chimney services for commercial and residential clients. For more information visit
Deb Stull
(301) 989-3300