Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you...you're just helping re-supply our family's travel fund.
Lighting up a fire in the winter is one of the best ways to keep warm. It’s cozy and comforting, and you can feel really lucky to have the ability to keep a fire burning in your home. But when your fireplace isn’t used for much of the year, it’s important not to just jump in and light that first fire without doing some essential things. You need to complete some tasks before you’re ready to get your first fire burning so that you can ensure it’s all safe and that your fire will burn efficiently. Make sure you do these top things before lighting a fire.
Stock Up on Essentials
You won’t be having any fires if you do have the essential supplies. You will want to stock up on firewood, kindling, fire starters, matches or lighter fuel, and anything else that you usually use to light and stoke your fires during the winter. Maybe you’ll decide it’s time to buy a new set of tools too. All of your wood needs to be dried, stored, and ready to use. You might want to get ahead on chopping it into manageable pieces too, so it’s ready to just add to your fire when you need it.
Inspect and Clean Your Chimney
One thing that you don’t want to be dealing with is a fire in your chimney or a home filled with smoke. You need to make sure everything is safe before you light that first fire, and that includes inspecting and cleaning your chimney. Chimney technicians can check out your chimney and fireplace for you, ensure the flue lining is in good condition, and clean up any soot or debris. This will help to prevent fires and make sure that there are no birds nesting in your chimney too.
Check for Any Exterior Damage
You might not be able to see it right away, but any damage to the exterior of your chimney could cause problems. You can get a roofing company to take a look and repair any problems that they might find. Moisture can get into your chimney if there are any cracks in the mortar. It’s also a good opportunity to think about putting on a chimney cap if you don’t already have one. It will keep out birds and other animals, help to keep moisture out, prevent fires, and prevent any embers from flying out.
Make Your Fireplace Safe
Safety always needs to come first when you light a fire in your home. The first thing that you might want to do is get a fireguard, screen, or gate to put around your fireplace. This will prevent children and pets from getting too close, and it protects you too. You should also have a carbon monoxide alarm, as well as a smoke alarm. Keep your fireplace tools somewhere safe too, and put matches and lighters in a safe place away from the fire.
Get these tasks completed before you light your first fire to ensure everything is safe and you can enjoy the warmth of the fire.