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Pre-warm the chimney
Before lighting your first roaring fire of the year you may need to pre-warm the chimney so that it will work properly. A warm flue enables the smoke and products of combustion to vent the property quickly and more easily.
Simply light one firelighter block or starter match and some kindling or paper and let it burn itself out. If the smoke from the warming fire is carried in to the room or elsewhere in the home extinguish the fire immediately, open doors and windows and seek expert advice from your chimney sweep.
When you have completed these checks, you can light your first fire but remember to keep the fire low for the first four or five hours to allow for expansion and settling within the chimney flue
Start with a bed of newspaper. Roll sheets into long strips, then fold or concertina the paper to form a compact knot shape. Place a few of these knots in the basket and add a fire lighter.
Next take some small sticks of kindling wood and arrange them in a tepee shape around the newspaper. Add just a few pieces of coal or small piece of wood ensuring that you allow space for air to circulate within the fire.
Strike a long stemmed match and set the newspaper and kindling alight. As the kindling starts to burn, gradually add more coal or wood around the base ensuring that air is allowed to circulate.