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How Do I Light A Coal Fire

How Do I Light A Coal Fire

Posted on 25 Mar 2020 By Flint Studios

Lighting a coal fire isn’t exactly rocket science, but can prove to be tricky, especially if this is your first attempt at lighting a coal fire.

We have put together this handy guide to creating the perfect fire. The following steps have been broken down so you too can enjoy the warmth of a natural, long-lasting fire in your coal stove.

You will need:

  • Firestarters
  • Kindling
  • Logs
  • Matches
  • Damp paper towel

1. Prepping your Stove

As many of us know, some through the hard way, lighting a fire doesn't come about by throwing some coal into your stove and lighting it. You need to do some prep work to ensure you achieve a warm and that long-lasting fire that will keep you toasty all evening.

2. Squeaky Clean Stove = Long Lasting Fire

While cleaning, you might have the sudden urge to clear out everything from your previous fire, however, we recommend to not completely remove all of the leftover ash from your grate. Instead, you should leave about 1/2 inch of ash at the base.

Next, you need to clean down the hearth and if you have a closed fire, clean the glass doors as well.

Hot Tip: Use a damp paper towel, dab it in ash on the ground and then wipe it on the glass to remove any soot.

You must clean your stove before starting another fire because de-ashing your stove will help the fuel economy and will also reduce the risk of carbon monoxide escaping into the room. Your ash should never build up as high to the point that it's touching the underside of the grate.

Important: Never place hot ash into the bin and make sure you dispose of it properly.

3. You’re The Firestarter

Once you have cleaned your coal stove, it's now time to move onto the fun part... lighting your fire!

We recommend starting with small pieces of dry kindling to make it a lot easier for you to light a fire, rather than using large logs.

Firstly, place the pieces of kindling in one direction: either front to back or side to side in the fireplace.

Hot Tip: If you’re lighting a wood stove, then make sure the kindling is aligned from front to back, as this is the direction of internal airflow

Continue to do this until you have four-five layers of kindling in alternating directions. By creating this zig-zag effect of your dry kindling, it will allow the air to flow through the pieces and help the flames spread.

Firestarters are a great product to help get your fire going! We suggest that you use a few of these and place them around the bottom layer and the bottom centre of your kindling.

Hot Tip: Balled up newspaper works just as well as firestarters.

Be careful and strike a match and light the fire starters or newspaper. If you’re lighting a wood burner or a multi-fuel stove, please make sure all air controls are fully open!

4. How To Keep The Flame Going

If you don’t keep an eye on your fire, then it will die out once it has burned through all of the kindling. On the other hand, if you put your wood logs on straight away, you will suffocate the fire and the flames will not be able to breathe and continuing burning. So, the real question is, when do you add some fuel to your fire?

Once your flames have had time to build and all of your kindling is burning is the best time to place your wood onto your fire. Stack your logs around the kindling, however, don’t cramp as many logs in as you can.

You must stack the logs loosely, allowing some room between each to let the air circulate and allow the flames to grow.

Hot Tip: Make sure you put a guard around your stove or close the appliance doors as sparks may fly out and hit the floor.

5. Keeping It Burning, All Night Long

Your fire should now be burning brightly, and if you want something that is a longer-lasting, add some coal when the fire starts to fade away.

Hot Tip: The best results will be achieved by ensuring that your draught level is correct. If you have turned down the draught previously once the fire got going, now is the time to increase it again. Once the fire is roaring, you should reduce the draught again to how long you would like your fire to last.

Here at, we have a wide range of logs, coal, and smokeless fuel. Take a look at our offers to get coal delivered straight to your door.