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Best Uses for Wood Ash

Top things to do with wood ash?

Before using wood ash for anything there is something to bear in mind. Only use ashes from wood that is free of chemicals, no pressure treated wood, painted or stained wood, charcoal briquettes, or commercial products like slow burning wood logs.

However, if you are using Firemizer this makes the ash finer and there are less unburnt log chunks leftover as the fire burns hotter for longer. Accompanied by Firebuilder a firelighter and kindling in one, this has no chemicals or odours as it’s made from 100% recycled cardboard.

If you’re using these then the wood ash is perfectly safe to use once your fire is out!

Make sure the ash is completely cool before touching it, buried embers can remain hot for days. To store ash safely place them into a metal container with a lid and place on a non-combustible surface such as dirt or concrete.

Never combine wood ash with nitrogen fertilisers it will produce ammonia gas.

ASHCompost

Wood ash added to the compost will help boost potassium levels, a key nutrient for flowering and fruiting. Only add wood ash to compost in moderation, since the ash is alkaline too much can raise the pH that may damage your plants.

Block garden pests

A sprinkle of wood ash around plants or along the perimeter of the plot will be a major turn off for the slimy creepy crawlies, for instance, slugs and snails.

Melt ice

Wood ash is an environmentally safe way to melt ice and snow. Since the ash contains potassium carbonate, a type of salt that is more eco-friendly it can help break up ice and melt snow when scatted on roads.

Make soap

When ash from hardwoods, for instance, oak and maple, are boiled in soft water it creates lye and when this is mixed with animal fats or vegetable oils it creates a soft soap. A little salt added creates a firmer bar of soap.

Shine silver and polish glass

Wood ash can be used to polish tarnished silverware, dull metals and cloud glass since it is mildly abrasive. All you need is to take a cup of ashes and a small amount of water to make a thick paste. Then off you go, you’ll have the silverware shining in no time!

Firemizer’s 2018 Round Up

Firemizer had a great year in 2018 and since we still can’t quite believe it’s 2019 let’s hold on to 2018 a bit longer and look back at some quite big and crazy events for the year.

‘In looking back, I see nothing to regret and little to correct.

John C. Calhoun

  • Meghan Markle married Prince Harry and became the U.K.’s first black princess 
  • Serena Williams made an epic return at the French Open in a fierce black catsuit.
  • Ireland ended its abortion ban, thanks to the thousands of people who flew home to vote on the referendum.
  • Doctors Grew a New Ear in a Soldier’s Arm
  • 13-Year-Old Wakes Up After Being Declared Brain Dead

It’s time to turn back time and see what 2018 bought Firemizer

The new website

Jumping straight into January the new website was launched! All shiny and new, perfect and easy for you to use and get all the info you need on all things Firemizer.

Dragons Den

Filming for the TV show went underway in May, a nerve-wracking experience. Maybe you saw us on tv? We’ve had lots of lovely enquires from you and Thanks to everyone that’s bought a Firemizer so far! 

Burn baby burn!

You may be surprised that Firemizer did well this summer, the scorching heat didn’t burn us out! Apparently didn’t stop you from buying Firemizer. Hopefully, you all enjoyed a good BBQ, fingers crossed this summer is perfect BBQ weather.

New hire

Towards the end of June, we hired a new intern. Ever wondered who writes these posts? It’s me! I help design marketing materials and run all the socials, so don’t be a stranger!

Countryfile live

Last year we trekked down to BBC’s Countryfile live! Stood in a black gazebo for 4 days in the burning heat, not the best of ideas. However, it was lovely to speak to people, walk the event, see all the dogs and eat some yummy food! Here’s the blog about our experience of the event! 

winter is coming!

As they say a hot summer therefore this means a cold winter! So, we launched our winter pack and hosted a lovely Christmas competition to celebrate.

Not bad roundup for 2018 and who knows what the rest of 2019 will bring! Don’t waste the year away as we’ll be saying Merry Christmas and a happy new year soon enough!

How fire safe are you?

What are the different types of fire?

Fires can be separated into 5 different categories depending on the type of fuel.  Consequently, for your safety, it is advised to keep a fire extinguisher in your home. Better to be safe than sorry!

As a result, to make sure you have the correct extinguisher look at the 5 fire categories below and decide which rooms you may need an extinguisher.

Getting started with fire extinguishers

Keep at least one extinguisher on each level of your house. Fire extinguishers should be kept in areas where fires are more likely to start, for example in the kitchen and garage.

The five classes of fire extinguishers are – A, B, C, D and F – and each class can put out a different type of fire.

fire

  • Class A/ water-based or foam

extinguishers will put out fires from ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper 

  • Class B/ foam

these are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline and oil

  • Class C/ dry powder

extinguishers are suitable for use only on electrically energized fires 

  • Class D/ specific dry powder 

these are designed for use on flammable metals 

  • Class F

extinguishers are designed for cooking oil fires

How to use your fire extinguisher

Most Fire extinguishers use the P.A.S.S. technique, therefore making them easy to use. 

              • P. Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher in order to break the tamper seal.
              • A. Aim the fire extinguisher low, with the nozzle pointed at the base of the fire. 
              • S. Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher to release the extinguishing agent. 
              • S. Sweep the nozzle from side to side while pointed at the base of the fire until it is extinguished. 
              • If the fire re-ignites, repeat the last 3 steps.

How to treat a minor burn

There are three types of burns: first, second and third-degree. Each is based on the severity of damage to the skin. First-degree is the most minor and third-degree is the most severe.

Do not apply ice to burn or use cotton wool as small fibres can stick.

 Treatments for a first-degree burn include:
              • soak the wound in cool water for five minutes or longer
              • take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief
              • apply lidocaine (anaesthetic) with Aloe Vera gel or cream to soothe the skin
              • use an antibiotic ointment and loose gauze to protect the affected area

While fire can be fun and relaxing it is also best to take caution when doing anything that involves fire.

In addition, Firemizer reduces creosote by 57% which is a highly flammable resin that sticks to your flue which will reduce the risk of flue fires.

 

Reference

http://www.eurofireprotection.com/blog/the-fire-classification-system-in-the-uk/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/burns-and-scalds/

Unusual ways to use your fireplace

Fantastic, Funky, Fresh. Fireplaces!

You’re probably thinking fireplaces only have one job and that’s for warming and relaxing fires, well you are in for a surprise. There are numerous ways to use your fireplace and here are some of them.

 

Release your inner bookworm

This is the perfect way to show off your inner bookworm, book storage is always tricky, and this quirky storage option is great!

Hang art

Not into books? Well, art is a perfect fit to spruce up the fireplace. Pick a favourite art print or multiple and go to town!

Convert into a wine rack

This is a wine lovers dream! Show off your favourite wines and knowledge by displaying them proudly!

Light it up

Set the mood with some candles, big, small, scented or unscented, whatever your choice this is great for a cosy night in!

Add tiles

Want to add some colour to the room? then why not try tiles, they’re a great way to add bits of colour without going too overboard.

 

 

Green thumb?

Why not try adding plants to your fireplace. Real or fake plants would work perfectly and create a lovely effect in your home.

Oldies but goldies

Use your fireplace space to display antiques or quirky decorative items. The perfect way to revamp a room and show your unique personality   

Stack logs

Great way to use as storage, you may have other appliances that need wood or it’s still perfect for decorative use.

Paint it white

Update the old brick with some nice paint and boom instant mood booster, perfect for a springtime vibe.

 

 

For the families

If you’ve got kids or plan to in the future these are some great way to change up a fireplace, so it is child-friendly
fireplace fireplace fireplace
Get creative with chalk art or use the fireplace as new storage for all the cuddly toys or go to town and paint the whole fireplace pink!
Need any more fireplace inspiration? Check out our Pinterest page for more!

Fun and Festive Family Activities

Family

Christmas is getting ever nearer, and things might be feeling chaotic. However it’s never a bad time to pause and enjoy the people around you. Christmas is a time for celebrating time with family and friends after all. When you get a break from working, shopping or catching up on sleep, try some of these fun family activities!

 

Festive Baking

Baking is a great way to get everyone involved. It might create a bit of a mess, but it will also create some lovely sweet treats. Gingerbread men, Christmas pudding, trifles, fudge, and chocolate cake – the list goes on. The Food Network has got 101 great recipe ideas for you and the family to get stuck into here.

Christmas Films

Something more relaxing (and requires a lot less tidying up) would be to gather the family and watch a movie! Everyone could choose their favourite festive film, and pitch why theirs should be watched. Or, take turns and watch one every few days or each week leading up to the big day. Everybody has his or her own opinion when it comes to the best Christmas film ever. To make it easier, here’s Rotten Tomatoes list of the 25 best Christmas films ever.

Get Festive with Firemizer and Firebuilder

To add that extra bit of festivity, cosy up by the fire with a Firemizer. It helps your solid fuel last over a third longer without emitting any harmful air pollutants or creosote. If you need to get your fire started, there’s nothing better than a Firebuilder. Simply break one of the corrugated-cardboard bricks in half, light the corners and watch your fire go. No need for kindling or lighter fluid!

Decorating the House

If you read our post last week’s about DIY decorations, you might find time this week to put them up! Like baking, this is a simple activity that everyone can get involved with – get all hands on deck. Hang the tinsel, frost the windows, get the lights plugged in and fancy up the tree. Christmas is rapidly approaching, so before the big rush begins, get everyone helping and have the house party-ready!

DIY Christmas Presents and Decorations!

December

It’s the last month of the year, but though we should be winding down, December is the busiest of all! If you’re organised, you might already have the Christmas decorations up and the presents already bought. If, like most people, you simply haven’t had time, fear not – we’re here to give you some simple DIY tips.

 

Decorations

Dust off the decoration box and get the tinsel and baubles at the ready; it’s time to get festive! We all have decorations acquired over the years, some we’ve become attached to, but you can always find new additions. Instead of spending valuable present money, why not try your hand at making your own? These can range from frosty window décor, to hand-painted baubles, to a lovely wreath for the front door. Or, what could be better than personalised stockings to hang above the fire? Check out these great DIY decorations here. And, if you’re struggling to get the fire beneath roaring, why not try a Firebuilder? One box can start you 10 perfect fires, without the need for kindling or any chemicals!

Presents

If you’re stuck for presents to buy for the person who has everything, why not make something yourself? It’s an easy way to guarantee no doubles on Christmas day, and it’s something they can cherish forever. Family picture key chains, hand-painted coffee mugs, wood-carved wine and beer carriers – the list is endless. Dodoburd have you covered with 65 amazing ideas here.

 

Once the big day arrives, you’ll want to get the fire going to keep the home nice and cosy all day. This means no running to grab extra wood from the store, so throw a Firemizer underneath your solid fuel to keep it burning 38% longer. Air pollutants are reduced by 72%, and creosote in the chimney is reduced by 52%. This means an easier journey for Santa down the chimney too!

National Tree Week

National Tree Week

We’ve already had International Day of Forests, Earth Hour and Recycle Awareness Week – now it’s time for National Tree Week! Between 24th November and 2nd December, the Tree Council hold this week to for communities to improve their local treescape. With the help of various environmental organisations, local authorities, schools and community groups, National Tree Week gets everyone helping.

What’s so great about trees?

Trees provide so much to our everyday lives that mostly goes unnoticed, despite providing valuable habits, materials and especially oxygen. We get food from trees, fuel, building materials, clean polluted air, prevent flooding and conserve energy. Therefore, what’s not to love about trees?

The aim is for everybody to get their hands dirty planting a million trees, but there’s plenty more to do. Each community will offer something different, from historic tree walks, talks hosted by conservationists, or tree charter and dressing events. Pauline Buchanan Black, Director-General of The Tree Council, says “Whichever way people choose to mark the occasion, National Tree Week is a great time for individuals, communities and families across the UK to recognise and celebrate the value of trees.”

How do I find out what’s happening around me?

Futhermore, the Tree Council has a national newsletter, and local events are found at the Near You Map on their website. There are also lots of helpful posters, tips and ideas of ways you can get involved this year. Find out more at their website, here.

Recycle Awareness Week

Get Recycling Awareness Week:

From Monday 12th until Sunday 18th November, it’s Recycle Awareness Week! Started by Planet Ark in 1996, Recycle Awareness Week takes place to put a focus on the environmental benefits of recycling. It promotes kerbside, industrial and community-recycling initiatives meaning everyone can get in on the action. By giving people the tools to help manage their materials responsibly, we can dramatically reduce the levels of waste.

Schools and Workplaces

First of all, teaching children the important benefits of recycling is the best way of continuing this tradition and protecting our environment. For example, recycling games and ‘junk to funk’ projects get young minds engaged and find purpose for waste products. Introducing new recycling initiatives at work or even just refining the current ones allow workplaces to reduce their waste levels. Furthermore, joining cartridge-recycling programs and buying recycled office products are the best places to start.

What are the statistics?

Statistics show that recycling in the UK is actually down for the first time since monitoring began. Recycling has been on a steep incline since 2000/2001 where it was at 11.2%. As of 2017, it sits at 43.7%, a massive improvement reflecting the shift in social attitudes towards recycling. We know that if we want to protect our planet, recycling waste and cutting down on harmful plastics is crucial.

Firemizer and Firebuilder are both recyclable products. Firemizer helps reduce your solid fuel usage as well as reducing air pollutants caused by burning by 72%. Made from corrugated cardboard, Firebuilder helps you start the perfect fire every time without the need for any nasty chemicals like kerosene.

Guy Fawkes Night

Guy Fawkes Night

With the distant sky lighting up and the smell of smoke in the air, we know it’s finally bonfire night! Remember remember the 5th of November – gunpowder, treason and plot. Some think that the fireworks and bonfires on Guy Fawkes Night are to celebrate his attempt to attack British parliament. However, the tradition actually comes from bonfires the people of London started to celebrate King James I surviving the plot. Whilst it’s great to witness some fireworks and enjoy a hot chocolate, fire safety is more important than ever. The Firemizer team is here to give you some simple safety tips to make sure everyone enjoys the night safely.

 

Did you know?

Did you know that three sparklers held together produce the same heat as a blowtorch? Or that fireworks can travel speeds of up to the 150mph? Or, until 1959, it was actually illegal not to celebrate bonfire night? If you’re starting a bonfire, one box of Firebuilder can start you up to 10 perfect fires!

Firework safety:

Fireworks might be very beautiful to watch, but if not handled properly, they can be incredibly dangerous. Always make sure the firework is properly stood with no flammable materials or plants around it. Maintain a safe distance after lighting it, and make sure everyone else is a suitable distance away – especially children. In recent years, just under 1000 injuries throughout October and November were caused by fireworks. Half of those were children, injured by fireworks or not handling sparklers correctly.

Sparkler safety:

Sparklers might seem less dangerous than fireworks, but misuse of them can lead to some nasty injuries. Before lighting them, always make sure it’s not too windy and anyone holding them is wearing gloves. Keep each individual sparkler away from any others, holding it at the base away from yourself. Always ensure there’s a bucket of water to dispose of sparklers when finished, as they can stay incredible hot for a long time after the spark has gone out.

Pet safety:

We know the loud noises around the 5th are fireworks, but pets don’t and can be easily spooked by them. If a pet is scared and hides, don’t try to prise them out as this could distress them further. For dogs, ensure they’ve been properly walked during the day and that smaller pets have everything they could need for the evening. Closing windows and curtains can reduce the noise, and turning on the TV can distract them further.

 

Here’s a great link with more safety tips and ways to enjoy the evening.

Why we love Halloween (and you should too)!

Why we love Halloween (and you should too)!

Can you hear that creepy organ playing in the background? The distant rumble of thunder coming from the distance? The shadow of a black cat from outside the window? Shrieks of terror and squeals of joy as the streets are packed with tiny ghosts and ghouls? It must be Halloween again! While you’re preparing for the scariest evening of the year (whether you’re trick-or-treating, or having a movie-marathon), this week’s blog post is all about why we love the 31st!

Food and Desserts

Of course, when most of us think of Halloween, our first instinct is to think of the massive amount of candy we’ll consume. Halloween and candy go hand-in-hand. It’s really the one time of year that amassing a huge haul and eating it in one night is encouraged! However, it’s not just candy that gets our taste buds going, but all the cool and creepy desserts too. From candy apples, to skeleton cookies, to a big bowl of spooky punch, there’s an endless list of ideas. To get you started, there are 11 ideas for you here.

Costumes

In true holiday spirit, Halloween is certainly one of those holidays that has a tendency to… creep up on you. The days are getting shorter, and we’re all still suffering from the post-summer blues. Before you know it, you’re drowning in invitations to haunted houses and Halloween parties, so it’s no surprise a lot of people struggle to get a costume sorted in time. If you’re among them, here’s 22 cheap and cheerful costume ideas that require little-to-no time at all.

Arts and Crafts

One of everyone’s favourite ways to celebrate Halloween is carving the pumpkin! It’s a way to really unleash you’re inner-creative demon with something spooky, funny, or just totally imaginative. Obviously we’re not all carving-experts, and often the worse the carving the funnier and scary it is! Here’s a fantastic collection of the best and brightest pumpkins from last year.

Traditions

It wouldn’t be Halloween without Halloween traditions! If haunted houses and big parties aren’t quite your speed, there’s nothing better than a spooky movie-marathon. There’s always the black-and-white Hitchcock classics, but they’re definitely a bit too scary for those with kids. If the trick-or-treating is done and the fire is still roaring (up to 38% longer with a Firemizer), then there’s plenty of child-friendly Halloween-themed films the whole family can enjoy. Find a list of them here.

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