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The professional Bournemouth chimney sweep service you can trust

The professional Bournemouth chimney sweep service you can trust
Professional chimney sweep service for Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch & Dorset

Thursday 21 March 2024

Conquer the Chill: How to Start a Fire and Overcome Cold Chimney Blocks This Winter

The crisp air and cozy nights of winter beckon, and what better way to warm your household than with a crackling fire? But before you reach for the matches, there are a few key things to consider, especially if your fireplace hasn't been used in a while. Here's how to ensure a successful fire-starting experience and address any potential roadblocks caused by a cold chimney.

The Art of Fire Starting:

  • Gather the Right Tools: A fireplace poker, fireproof gloves, kindling, newspaper, and seasoned firewood are essential.
  • Prepare the Fireplace: If burning wood, leave an inch or two of ash from previous fires to act as an insulating bed. Completely remove ash if using smokeless coal.

Build the Fire Wisely:

  • Start with a layer of crumpled newspaper in the firebox, followed by small kindling pieces. Gradually add larger logs as the fire establishes itself.
  • Light it Up Safely: Use a long-nosed lighter or fire starters to ignite the paper from a safe distance. Never use flammable liquids to start a fire.

Dealing with a Cold Chimney Block:

A cold chimney can hinder your fire-starting efforts. Here's how to overcome this hurdle:

  • Warm Up the Flue: Light a rolled-up newspaper in the fireplace and hold it there for a few minutes. Alternatively:

    • Use a hairdryer on a high heat setting, pointing it up the flue for a few minutes.
    • Aim a portable fan heater (ensure it's tipped upwards and not blowing directly into the fireplace) towards the flue opening for a short period.
    • Light a few unscented candles (never leave burning candles unattended) near the fireplace opening to create a small upward draft.

Safety First:

  • Regular Chimney Sweeping: Schedule a professional chimney sweep at least once a year to remove creosote buildup, a highly flammable substance. This not only improves efficiency but also minimizes fire risks.
  • Working Carbon Monoxide Alarm: Ensure your carbon monoxide alarm is in good working order and has fresh batteries. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas that can be deadly.
  • Fireplace Screen: Use a sturdy fireplace screen to prevent sparks and embers from escaping the firebox.

Keeping the Warmth Flowing:

By following these tips and prioritizing chimney maintenance, you'll be well on your way to enjoying cozy winter fires. Remember, a clean and well-maintained chimney is essential for optimal fireplace performance and fire safety.

Ready to Light Up Your Winter?

Jim Chim-in-ey, your trusted chimney sweep in Bournemouth and Poole, can help! We offer professional chimney sweeping services, chimney cowl installation, and expert advice to ensure your fireplace is safe and efficient.

Text Jim NOW on 07837672548 to schedule your chimney sweep and get ready for a warm winter!

Bournemouth Chimney Sweep
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This article was written by Jim Chim-in-ey

An insurance approved chimney sweep 

JC sweeps all open fires, wood burners and stoves.
Covering Bournemouth, Poole, Blandford Forum, Wimborne, Christchurch and Dorset.

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