1. It’s best to choose a permanent location for your chiminea, as it can crack if you move it after it’s been used. If you have a cast iron chiminea rather than clay it will also be extremely heavy so you won’t want to be moving it too often. Choose the location wisely as you want everyone to be able to gather around and benefit from the heat, but without them having to get too close. You also don’t want to put your chiminea where it’s going to be in the way especially if you have children running around. You should also make sure that your chiminea is placed on a level, fire proof surface to provide a safe and stable base. Knowing where to locate your chiminea and how to light a chiminea safely ensures you and your guests have a brilliant time enjoying the outdoors.
2. Pour about 4 inches of sand or gravel inside your chiminea. What this does is it keeps the logs off the bottom of the chiminea and it also raises the top of the burning fire above the opening. This will keep the smoke blowing out the top. Otherwise it will come out the front opening and smoke out the patio area or deck.
3. Place a couple of bits of dry, split firewood inside the chiminea. Dried logs are important as they will burn better and get hotter. Also you may want to think about how to store your logs and investing in a log store keeps them stockpiled neatly whilst maintaining them in tip-top condition. Knowing how to light your chiminea safely is step one but then you need to use good quality fuel to ensure a good burn that will emits lots of heat to keep everyone cosy.
4. Add some screwed-up newspaper to the gap between the pieces of firewood. If you like you can add a block of solid paraffin fire-lighter (the type you would use to start an open fire or charcoal barbecue). But, it is essential that you NEVER use any type of liquid fuel such as petrol or lighter fuel to start your fire as this is definitely not how to light your chiminea safely.
5. Place some kindling on top of the newspaper. Kindling is small bits of wood, sticks, twigs or even dried grass. Whatever you choose, it must be bone dry.
6. The next step in how to light your chiminea safely is to use a long fireplace match or butane grill lighter to light the newspaper (and/or fire-lighter . Once the newspaper and kindling has caught, add another handful of kindling, and the fire will begin to burn with more intensity. After a short while, the kindling will eventually ignite the fire logs and the chiminea will start generating heat.
7. Remember, you are looking for glowing embers inside your chiminea just like when you light a charcoal BBQ. Once the embers reach a white hot stage they omit more radiant heat ensuring that you and your guests are snug and warm gathered around your chiminea. What you don’t want is a roaring fire as this will only suck in cold air meaning your fire will not burn as hot and you will use more logs.
Knowing how to light a chiminea safely means you can spend more time outdoors enjoying your garden with family and friends.