Buy Winter Fuels from J. B. Clowes

Brrr. The weather has finally turned cold. So now winter is here at J.B. Clowes we have everything you need to keep your fires burning and you staying warm. ?? Bagged logs, sticks and coal, firelighters and bottled gas. Logs are a relatively low-cost way to keep your home warm. If you live nearby and have a real fire, log burner or stove, we have what you need to keep those home fires burning!

How to build a fire and keep warm this winter

Step one
A short match gives you about six seconds before the flame reaches your fingers. For most open fires and wood burners, this just isn’t enough time to light the tinder or newspaper, especially if you want it to catch in more than one place. Extra long matches give you three or four times longer but they also allow you to place the flame right inside the hearth.

Step two
Put a generous layer of tinder in the base of your wood burner or hearth. This is the first fuel of your fire and needs to be very dry and easy to light – scrunched up balls of newspaper, twists of brown paper, pine cones, birch bark and, if you’re in a hurry or a realist, a couple of firelighters for good measure. Don’t use colour supplements or gift-wrap – they give off toxic fumes.

Step three
This is the second fuel of your fire, the bridge between your tinder and your logs. Most shop-bought kindling is softwood, which is full of resin that helps it to burn hot and fast, but dry twigs and branches are also ideal. Kindling should be about the thickness of a thumb. Add three layers of kindling over the top of your tinder – leave plenty of air gaps and criss-cross the layers like pastry on an apple pie.

Step four
Pick two or three narrow logs and perch them on top of the kindling. Logs should be hardwood ideally (birch, oak and ash are good, as are fruit woods) – they burn more slowly and intensely than softwood – but you can mix the two. Avoid wet or green wood (which has just been cut from a tree) – you’ll either struggle to light it or it’ll send out clouds of smoke.

Step five
Strike your match close to the hearth and light the tinder in more than one place. It should only take a few minutes for the fire to take hold – once it’s roaring away, you can add more logs but don’t over-do it – a small, low fire with lots of radiant glowing embers is better than a roaring inferno.

Along with getting your chimney swept at least once a year and having any stove installed by a qualified engineer, you MUST fit a carbon monoxide detector in any room with a fire. CO alarms are also a legal requirement with stoves installed after 2010 and wood burners in all rented properties.