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How to Start a Fire in a Fireplace: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Start a Fire in a Fireplace: A Step-By-Step Guide

A fireplace is a wonderful way to add coziness and warmth to your house. A cozy and useful winter hobby can be building a fire in a fireplace.

Lighting a fire in the fireplace can provide many hours of enjoyment. You can just sit in the living room and watch TV by the fireplace.

Wood can produce a cozy, relaxing ambiance with its warm, crackling sound. You’ll notice right away how cozy and secure a home with a fireplace is.

Knowing how to start a fire safely is an important skill. It dramatically increases the value of owning a wood-burning fireplace.

It can initially seem intimidating if you’ve never started a fire. You may think it’s dangerous, and you won’t be able to handle it. But with the proper techniques and materials, creating a cozy flame is easy.

This detailed guide tells you how to start a fire in a fireplace. We cover everything from gathering materials to safely putting out the flames.

That way, you can enjoy the warmth and beauty of your perfect fireplace all winter!

Before You Start a Fire

Things You Should Never Burn in Your Fireplace

Before you think about how to start a fire in the fireplace, it’s vital to understand the basics of fire safety. Also, remember maintenance.

As a responsible homeowner, there are several essential things you should check. Check for potential fire hazards in the area around your fireplace.

Make sure that nearby pieces of furniture are moved away from the fireplace area. Among these, we can highlight the following:

  • Upholstered sofas or poufs
  • Fabrics, such as curtains, rugs, or plaids

Also, stand near the fireplace and extend your arm forward. If there are any objects within arm’s length of the hearth, remove them. We recommend moving them at least five feet away. It will ensure your complete safety.

As an extra precaution, we recommend getting a fire extinguisher. Before you think about how to start a fire in a fireplace, buy a fire extinguisher. Keep a fire extinguisher close to the fireplace.

Finally, remember to open the chimney before lighting it. Never leave a lit fire unattended.

You can enjoy sitting around a cozy fire with proper care and maintenance. You will do it in the comfort and safety of your own home.

Arranging Firewood Inside the Fireplace

Thinking about how to make a fire so that it is efficient and beautiful?

Then we present to you two methods of stacking wood in your fireplace:

Log Cabin Method

Stacking firewood in your fireplace requires a systematic approach. It is how you can ensure maximum warmth and safety.

One of the most popular methods is the “Log Cabin” method. With this method, you can start a fire in a fireplace efficiently, but how do you do it?

Step 1. In this method, you start by stacking two parallel logs. Do this along the back wall of the fireplace.

Step 2. You should start the second layer with two logs. Place them perpendicular to the first two logs.

Step 3. Line up the square shapes on top of each other to make a small log cabin.

Step 4. Make sure that each log is stacked tightly against the other. This way, the airflow will be as efficient as possible around and between each log. Consider the number of logs and the size of your fireplace.

Step 5. Then fill in all the gaps until the wood fits in the fireplace.

This way, you start a fire in your fireplace quickly and efficiently, and you know how to do it.

The attractive placement of the firewood allows it to burn as efficiently as possible. By doing so, they provide a warm and safe fire in your home.

The Top-Down Method

As you can see, the right way to stack the wood in a fireplace is significant for successful burning. But we have another method of how to start a fire in a fireplace with wood.

The top-down method is another common way to stack firewood. It involves creating a fire from the top of the fireplace and moving down.

Step 1. Start by placing two or three large logs at the top, perpendicular to the back of the fireplace.

Step 2. Then create a structure around them with medium-sized pieces of wood. Do this in alternating directions. This way, you will ensure airflow and circulation.

Step 3. Finally, fill in the gaps between them with small pieces of brushwood.

Step 4. Place the shredded paper on top of the wadding for easy ignition.

Following this procedure will ensure that the wood burns efficiently and gets optimal heat from the fireplace.

Starting a Fire

how to start a fire in a fireplace with dried logs

Still scared and have no idea how to start a fire in the fireplace?

Don’t worry! Starting a fire in a fireplace is less scary than you may think.

Even if you are inexperienced, you can start a safe and enjoyable fire in the cold season. The key to success lies in following a few basic steps. 

First, make sure your chimney, or flue, is open. We need the smoke to be able to escape. All other openings must be closed when asking how to start a fire in a fireplace.

Gather brushwood, such as crumpled paper or branches. Also, gather kindling, such as pieces of split wood less than two inches across. You can use these to form a wigwam-like structure over the tail.

Then set some small pieces of clean paper on fire. Arrange them around the structure’s base, then add larger logs strategically. Do this until you get the desired flame.

Most importantly, never leave a campfire unattended. Always make sure the ashes are completely cooled down before throwing them outside.

The Best and Worst Fuels for Your Fire

How about starting a fire in a fireplace with wood? What about using more than just wood?

There are several types of fuel that you can use in a campfire. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. We decided to highlight a few options for you to start a fire:

Wood is one of the best fuels. Because it provides a reliable heat source, it is easy to find and inexpensive.

The downside is that it produces smoke and sparks when it burns. Thus, caution should be exercised when using firewood. Take into account all fire and safety regulations.

Charcoal is also a great type of fuel in terms of how to make a fire. It is inexpensive, produces little smoke, has minimal sparks, and burns for a long time.

But this fuel releases large amounts of carbon dioxide when it burns. It can be dangerous in some enclosed spaces. 

Other alternatives include propane and ethanol. These provide a good source of heat and create very little debris. But these options tend to be more expensive than the other materials available.

It is crucial to research your fuel options before you start a fire in a fireplace. This way, you will ensure you are using the safest and most efficient fuel for your needs.

Keeping a Fire

Keep the fireplace safe

So you’ve already figured out how to start a fire in the fireplace. You can already imagine that cozy evening in the living room with a fireplace.

But now it’s time to figure out how to maintain a fire. A well-maintained and reliable fire in your fireplace is a great way to provide warmth and atmosphere in your home.

It is crucial to properly prepare and maintain the wood to ensure safe and efficient burning.

It can include things like:

  • Keeping the wood away from moisture
  • Keeping the wood for at least six months
  • Splitting the logs into pieces that fit the size of the fireplace

If the wood is already burning, use caution. And you need to be careful about more than just a shared fireplace.

It’s also important to be careful when handling brushwood and paper. They can quickly get out of hand if they are not watched.

Also, watch for smoke emissions, which can indicate an insufficient air supply or an obstruction in the chimney system.

Regular care and attention allow you to maintain a comfortable fire all winter.

But remember to put out the fire after use. It is the only way your experience of how to start a fire in your fireplace will be enjoyable.


What is the best firewood for a fireplace?

The best firewood for a fireplace is dry hardwood such as oak, ash, hickory, or maple. Softwoods such as pine should avoid because they burn too and don’t provide the same heat output.

What is the best fire starter for a fireplace?

The best fire starters for a fireplace are wax cubes, paper, kindling wood, or fatwood. These all burn quickly and help build a strong base for your fire.

What is the safest type of fuel to use in a fireplace?

The safest type of fuel to use in a fireplace is hardwood. It produces less smoke and sparks and burns for more extended periods. And it is easier to find and cheaper than other fuels.


Your fireplace doesn’t have to be intimidating to start a fire. You can establish a warm and comfortable heating system this winter with the proper equipment and knowledge.

Ensure you know the best fuel choices, effective fire-starting techniques, and safe fire-keeping practices.

During the chilly months, it will assist in keeping your house warm and inviting.