Controlled fires have been a fundamental part of humanity. Without fire, we wouldn’t be able to stay warm, cook food, or see in the dark. Starting a wood fire may seem pretty simple and straightforward. However, there are quite a few steps that need to be taken to ensure that you are starting an effective yet safe fire. Whether you are using your fireplace, or building a fire to enjoy outdoors, we here at Northeastern Masonry & Chimney want to share with you how to build a perfect fire.


Before you start any fire, you should always ensure your safety. First, you want everyone close by to be aware that there will be a fire in the area, so make sure everyone close by knows you are going to be starting a fire. Look at the area surrounding your fire’s location. If there are any combustible items near your fire, move them to a safe distance. A safe distance is at least three feet away from your fire. In addition, if you are burning in your fireplace, be sure that your chimney is in good working condition and that the damper is opened. If you haven’t had your chimney inspected within the last year, you will want to have it inspected by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified chimney technician before you start your fire.  If you are outdoors, be sure to check that there are no red flag warnings in the area. Red flags mean it’s either too dry or windy to burn outdoors.

Use Seasoned Wood

You want to be sure to use the right fuel for your fire. Your wood should be properly seasoned to assure an effective, clean burning fire. Seasoned firewood is wood that has been split, stacked, and set out to dry. Non-seasoned wood has high moisture making it had to start on fire.

Build You Fire

If you can, build your fire on an ash bed that is a couple of inches thick. This provides insulation that will keep your fire burning hot. Although there are a couple of different techniques for building a good fire, the most common technique consists of using kindling and then building up your fire up from smaller to larger pieces of wood.

  • Find some nice kindling and lay it in the center of where you want your fire. Kindling can be paper, leaves, wool, or basically any material that is easily combustible.
  • Lay some small, dry sticks and twigs on top of your kindling. If you can, try to tent them up around your kindling.
  • Get some medium size sticks and the tent them up around your kindling and smaller sticks.
  • Start your fire by lighting your kindling on fire. The goal is to have your kindling start your small sticks on fire which will then start your medium-sized sticks on fire.
  • Once your medium sticks are on fire, you can start putting larger logs on your fire.

If you have any questions about the proper way to start a fire, contact us at Northeastern Masonry & Fireplace today to and ask our experts how to build a fire for your whole family to enjoy.