Tag: wood burning

Chiminea Safety Tips!

Chiminea Safety Tips!

The fourth and final outside fire-appliance is the beautiful chiminea! Chimineas have been found in gardens for nearly half a century. Mainly used for central heating, their early designs can be traced back to Spain or Mexico. Traditionally placed near a window, the long neck of the design prevented smoke from collecting inside. Here are a few more safety tips to make sure you have safe and soothing summer evenings.

Stability

First of all, make sure the chiminea is sturdy and not likely to tip over. Three/four legged stands are available, and a foundation of brick will decrease the possibility of fire spreading.

Location

Watch out for any low-hanging ornaments or branches. The chiminea should be in its own area, and a safe distance away from your home.

Preparation

When starting your fire, do not use chemicals like kerosene or lighter fluid to start the fire. In addition to the harmful gases they produce, but the fires are far more unpredictable and difficult to contain. Instead, use a firestarter and kindling, with newspaper balls to allow the fire to burn slowly downwards. Firebuilder is a firelighter and kindling-in-one, and does not use any chemicals. Made out of recycled cardboard, the unique airflow technology allows the fire to start at a quick but manageable speed.

Top-down Method

The Top-Down Method is the safest and most effective way to start a fire in a chiminea. For a step-by-step guide, refer to the Firemizer FAQs here.

Distance

Keep a safe distance between you and the chiminea as the outside surface is likely to get very hot. Also keep a watchful eye on any pets or young children that could accidentally come into contact with the structure.

Watch

Finally, don’t leave any fire unattended. Most of all, make sure the chiminea is always in view, and that you have a bucket or water or hose handy.

How to make the perfect pizza using your Pizza Oven!

This week’s focus is the mighty garden appliance – the pizza oven! If you’re lucky enough to have one of these incredible structures at home, now is the time to use it. Not only does it provide a great opportunity to invite friends over, it produces some excellent, restaurant-quality pizza. And really – who doesn’t love pizza? Make it as meaty as you like, smother it in veggies, give it a spicy kick or keep it simple. There’s a combination of pizza toppings for everyone out there. This week, we’re going to be giving you some simple steps to creating the perfect pizza with your pizza oven.

Get it hot!

Firstly, you need to make sure your pizza oven is at the right temperature to cook the pizza thoroughly, and since you’ll be cooking with wood traditionally, this could take some time. Using a Firebuilder will get your fire started easier and quicker, and doesn’t require the use of chemicals like kerosene. It differs from pizza oven to pizza oven, but generally it should be at about 300°C – 570°F.

Make the best base!

Regardless of if you’re using a pre-made base or have made your own from scratch, don’t smother it in sauce. Leave space at the rim for the crust to raise, and evenly spread the cheese and toppings. Have fun with the toppings too – try out interesting new combinations, you never know what could work!

Give it a spin!

Because of the dome-like structure of the pizza oven, a lot of the heat output is directed towards the back. While the pizza is cooking, make sure to spin the base by 180° every few minutes. This will ensure the pizza is cooked evenly, and you won’t be left with any raw dough or toppings. Make sure you’re using heat-proof gloves, safety first!

Timing is everything!

Unlike a gas oven, at the right temperature cooking in a pizza oven will only take up to five minutes. Check to see if the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned but not burned. The outside crust should be slightly brown and crunchy, but the inside should be soft and with a brown underneath. If you’re cooking multiple pizzas, make sure the oven stays at that perfect temperature. Placing a Firemizer on the base will help the wood to burn more evenly and efficiently, and keep that temperature higher for longer. It will also preserve the life of the wood inside the oven, meaning less trips back to the wood store.

Fun things to do around the Fire-pit this Summer!

 

Fun things to do around the Fire-pit this Summer!

Fire-pits are quickly becoming the centrepiece in any garden – just like the hearth, the fire-pit becomes a centralized meeting point. Now that the weather is beautiful once again, spending the days and evenings outside seems far less discouraging. An afternoon relaxing with a book, dinners outside, a drink with friends, the garden has much more room and ambience to offer than any inside room. If you’re planning a gathering of friends and family, try some of these fun activities to make the night memorable.

Sweets and Treats!

When hosting an outside activity around a fire, the go-to activity is usually centred around food. Hot dogs make a great savory treat when accompanied by ketchup and mustard, a BBQ classic! Nobody wants to wait around for food, so getting your fire started quicker and stronger is crucial. Using a Firebuilder makes starting your fire easier than ever – simply break the cardboard brick, light the edges, place it on top of your solid fuel and let the fire burn downwards. As a kindling-and-firestarter-in-one (with no added chemicals like kerosene) your fire will be roaring before you know it.

If you’re looking for something on the sweeter side, there’s no fireside food better than the S’more. Here’s a simply recipe from Hershey’s themselves to make the perfect S’more this summer – https://www.hersheys.com/en_us/recipes/smores.html

Sing-alongs!

It might sound cheesy, but sometimes there’s really nothing better than a good group sing-along around the fire! Grab your guitar and strike a few chords, you’re bound to find a song that everyone knows the words to. You can even bring out some kitchen objects and get a full DIY orchestra going!

Stories and memories!

Whether it’s a spooky ghost story, or an embarrassing memory, stories by the fireside are a time-old tradition. With the added help of Firemizer, your solid fuel will last up to a third longer, meaning less interference and more time to share. Simply place a Firemizer at the base of your fire-pit, place your fuel on top and let the unique steel-alloy grid help your fuel to burn more evenly and efficiently (whilst also reducing any harmful pollutants by 72%).

 

Get the most out of your fire-pit this Summer with the help of Firebuilder and Firemizer, and make those summer nights last as long as possible.

Chimney Sweep FAQs

How often should I have my chimney cleaned and maintained?

This week’s blog topic is the importance of keeping chimneys well maintained and clean after continual use. A good rule of thumb is to have your chimney cleaned by a certified professional at least once a year. If it is more often than not the prime source of heating in your house, you might want to consider having it swept more. Ask your chimney sweep for their advice on how often it should be serviced. Do not ever attempt to clean the chimney yourself – you could end up doing causing damage to your chimney. It’s important to call a certified chimney sweep as they know the typical signs of creosote build-up and nesting wildlife.

 

Why is it important to have my chimney cleaned and maintained?

The continual maintenance of your chimney is central to its efficiency and heat output. The chimney sweep aims to remove all the creosote build-up on the inside of the chimney to prevent chimney fires. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that results from the regular burning of certain types of wood (especially pine). Using Firemizer with your solid fuel is proven to reduce creosote by 57% and helps your fuel burn 38% longer. By having your chimney properly maintained, it ensures that you’re getting the most out of your fireplace or stove. There’s no fear of chimney fires, a release of harmful gasses or any unexpected wildlife nesting inside. Animals like birds, squirrels or small insects can also cause long-term damage to the structural stability of the chimney.

 

When should I start thinking about servicing my chimney?

A year between each service is recommended, and the best time to get it serviced is before the burning season. Anytime during the summer or early autumn is ideal to make sure your chimney is in perfect shape once the weather turns colder. Seek out your local chimney sweeps and book in early to ensure you’re getting the most out of your chimney.

What are Brit’s favourite fireside stories?

As families in the UK become more time poor, Firemizer, creator of the handy household fuel and money-saving device, has launched a campaign to find the nation’s favourite fireside stories, encouraging families to spend more time together.

Whether it’s curling up around the campfire or settling down in front of an open range, humans have shared stories around the fire throughout history. Conversations around the campfire has played an important role in how we have developed as a species and according to research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ending the day around the campfire, where songs, stories and relationships blossomed, ultimately shaped cultures and perhaps even helped develop some of our ability to understand one another and cooperate.

Brian Irvine, CEO of Firemizer said, “For generations the fire has been the central point of the home and with more and more time-pressure being placed on families, we hope to encourage people to step away from the screens and share stories together.

“Whether that is reading or telling your favourite stories together, talking about your day or asking older generations to share memories – storytelling allows us to connect with each other on an emotional level.”

Creating time within your week to spend time together and talk and share stories helps young children to develop cognitive and communication skills and is an easy way for generations to spend quality time together.

The importance of the fire itself in storytelling has been discussed by anthropologist Polly Weissner. She said, “Fireside gatherings are often, although not always, composed of people of mixed sexes and ages. Body language is dimmed by firelight and awareness of self and others is reduced. Facial expressions—flickering with the flames—are either softened, or in the case of fear or anguish, accentuated.”

From ghost stories to childhood memories or camping capers, with summer just around the corner, Firemizer is now searching for the best campfire stories and memories to be compiled into an anthology for families to share together throughout the warmer weather. To submit your fireside stories visit www.facebook.com/firemizer or #firemizer on Twitter by Saturday 30 June.

May Day Weekend

May Day Bank Holiday Weekend

Over the May Day bank holiday weekend, you may find yourself stuck for things to do with that extra day. Instead of sleeping in or watching TV, here’s a list of cheap, alternative things to get you out the house.

 

Walking Tours in London

If you live in the countryside and want a change of scenery, why not head to the sprawling London metropolis? There’s a wealth of landmarks and tourist attractions that we so often forget are on our doorstep. In the interest of keeping it cheap and cheerful, there are over 40 free walking tours on offer to you. These range from historic walks through the park, to the strip between Buckingham Palace and St. Paul’s Cathedral, to the London Outer Orbital Path (LOOP) that takes you through stately monuments and houses.

Cheese-Chasers in Gloucester

This strangely appealing annual event always promises not to disappoint. In Brockworth, Gloucester, hordes of competitors throw themselves down a hill in order to catch the prized wheel of cheese. Yes, you read that correctly. An 8lb wheel of Double Gloucester cheese is chased down the famed Cooper’s Hill and the first to the finish line is crowned Cheese Champion.

Pet Animals in Newcastle

Just outside of Newcastle city centre in Jesmond Dene is a little haven that the little ones will enjoy. Filled with standard pigs and rabbits (as well as rarer alpacas and tropical birds) this petting zoo will delight all! It’s free entry with a soft play area and café, so if you’re in the area and stuck for ideas, this is an easy fix.

Host a Garden Party

Getting out of the house doesn’t necessarily require going far; weather permitting, invite friends over for an impromptu garden party! Soak up the sunlight and maybe even get a barbecue going – get it started easier using a Firebuilder and help it last up to 38% with a Firemizer! If the weather isn’t so good, swap garden for a cheese and wine night, and use Firemizer in your wood or coal burning stove or fireplace instead!

Take a walk in the Peak District

Over April and May, walkers take to the hills making the most of the year’s first bouts of good weather. With so many various trails to choose from, from mountain heights to valley lows, to fit your experience level. Take a day out for a quick escape or organise a longer trail over the full weekend, all you need are comfy shoes and a weather proof coat!

 

There are just some of the cheap, wonderful ways to get the most of your this bank holiday this year!

Earth Day 2018

Earth Day 2018

April 22nd is Earth Day, a day to celebrate the world’s largest environmental movement. Started in 1970, the Earth Day movement has mobilised over 200 million people worldwide since going global 20 years later. Over 1 billion people and 50,000 partners across nearly 195 countries all contribute to the yearly observation of this day. Moreover, it has influenced substantial change in approaches towards climate change and influenced that passing of acts such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act.

History:

Founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, he sought to bring about change after witnessing a devastating oil spill in 1969. Done alongside the counter-culture movements and student-led anti-war protest in America, Nelson used this momentum to educated about climate change. Furthermore, after years of mounting success in educating and inspiring the world to confront and change our attitudes towards how we treat the planet, Nelson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1995.

A Billion Acts of Green:

In 2010, in the face of opposition from climate change deniers and oil-lobbyists, the Earth Day Network launched its most ambitious scheme yet – to get people across the world to commit 1 billion acts of environmental service. These acts ranged from small, personal commitments like Meat-Free Mondays, into global tree-planting initiatives like The Canopy Project. As it stands, we’ve reached over 2 and a half billion Green Acts, with a new goal of 3 billion. Find out how you can help reach this goal here. Equally, using a Firemizer reduces air pollutants by 72%, and Firebuilder is kerosene-free firebuilder that’s made of entirely recycled cardboard. Using these two products can drastically reduce your carbon footprint and inch us towards those 3 billion Acts of Green.

2018’s Theme

Additionally, the theme for this year Earth Day is ‘end plastic pollution’ – did you know that the UK and US throw away over 550 million plastic straws every day that eventually find their way to our oceans? These cause serious damage to natural ecosystems and tiny micro-particles find their way from our oceans to our tap water. This year, commit yourself to stop using disposable plastics and instead seek out environmentally friendly alternatives. Purchase a re-usable bag for shopping, acquire your own reusable water bottle instead of buying another, and wash-up metal cutlery instead of throwing away plastic knives and forks. End the needless use of disposable plastic products and make your contribution to Earth Day this April!

 

Bio-Bean’s Coffee Logs

We tried and tested Bio-Bean’s Recycled Coffee Logs!

The lovely folks over at Bio-Bean sent us some of their Premium Eco Coffee Logs to test in our log-burner. Paired with a Firemizer and Firebuilder, these little recycled pocket-rockets worked an absolute treat for our eyes and our stove!

We started with the Firemizer on the base of the stove and a Firebuilder burning on top. Made of used coffee-grounds collected from shops across the country, they reduce unnecessary greenhouse gases and need for landfill sites, getting that extra mile out of your Americano. The logs themselves still give off that lovely coffee aroma whilst in the packet, so handling and inspecting was joy.

The Review

We then threw the first coffee log on top of our Firebuilder, and within moments the log was burning nicely. As the logs are old coffee grounds, they retain about 20% more energy than wood, meaning they burn much faster. This was immediately noticeable – within minutes we had a fire going. The coffee logs do have a tendency to crumble and break apart, so be extra careful we stoking the fire. When we noticed the fire simmering down after a little while, we placed a couple more logs in to bring it back up and, sure enough, the fire was roaring again within minutes.

The coffee logs are an excellent way of getting a fire started quickly, or building it back up when dwindling. They take to the flame immediately and require little intervention – perhaps occasional rearrangement when the logs crumble into smaller fragments. Truly, the only slight shortcoming of the coffee logs is the amount of smoke and ash they produce. Thankfully, with Firemizer, no clumps were left and we were able to brush off the collected ash into the pan. Unfortunately we couldn’t do anything about the amount of smoke each log produced when burning, but with the stove doors closed and the flue wide-open, it didn’t linger around the house.

Bio-Bean’s Coffee Logs are a revolutionary concept and make excellent use of waste that would typically be considered useless. Instead, they have managed to create a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels that packs the speed and strength of caffeine. The logs provide an excellent way to start or resurrect fires quickly and efficiently (especially when paired with a Firebuilder.) Try them for yourself by visiting http://www.bio-bean.com/coffee-logs/ now!

National Pet Month

National Pet Month

It’s National Pet Month! Between April 1st and May 7th, everyone across the country will be appreciating and showing off their fuzzy companions. The purpose of this month is to promote responsible ownership and celebrate the benefits that pets give our lives. Whether it’s working animals like guide dogs or the lazy family cat (who always steals your seat), they’re all appreciated! We know that our pets love the warmth of the fireplace so, in conjunction with this month, we’ve drawn up a list of fireplace safety tips to keep your their paws warm and toasty (but from a safe distance).

Tips:

Keep it closed off. – The first piece of advice is the most obvious; get yourself a fireguard or a baby-gate. Any kind of barrier will stop your inquisitive pet from getting too up-close-and-personal with the fire. This means no burnt paws (or tongues), wagging tails are protected and any spitting embers won’t catch them by surprise. Keep all fireplace tools behind the barrier as an extra precaution, and especially for cats, make sure there are no draping decorations around the fireplace they might want to play with and pull down.

Be mindful of the unseen threats. – The enticing fire isn’t the only immediate danger to your pets; Carbon Monoxide fumes can be just as fatal. Make sure your CO2 alarm is checked regularly and that your fireplace or stove is correctly ventilated to filter out carcinogens. An added Firemizer will even reduce those harmful pollutants by a further 72%. Also, monitor the time your pet has spent next to the fire – don’t allow them to become dehydrated or overheated. This could result in small, sun-burn-like burns (particularly in thicker-coated pets).

Get the right equipment. – Get your pet fire-retardant items to prevent any disasters; non-flammable toys, beds and clothing are just an extra safeguard. Some pet-stores even sell stickers for your windows that alert fire fighters that there’s a furry loved one in the house.

Act responsibly and set an example. – It goes without saying, but refrain from any kind of playtime when the fire is lit. A wagging tail can catch a flame without warning, and bouncing toys or a tossed treat could send a pet right into the mouth of a fire. It’s best to act calmly and responsibly when the fire is on, as you would with a child. This means never leaving them unsupervised and for super-curious younger pets, consider keeping them at distance (in a box or crate).

Follow these steps to ensure you and your pet(s) can safely enjoy each other’s company by the fireside this month.

5 common myths you’ve heard about fireplaces

Fireplaces:

This week’s topic is the alternative solid-fuel heating method for those without space for a log-burner – fireplaces! Fireplace always provide warmth and ambience to any room they’re in whether it’s your lounge, bedroom, or even the garden. They provide a great source of heat, a focal point in any room and with a range of styles both classic and modern to choose from, there’s a hearth out there for everyone. Fireplaces can actually add value to a property as they have become a highly sought feature for first-time buyers. Fireplaces can utilise various different types of solid fuels, ranging from pellets, coal, gas, propane and various types of wood.

The history of the fireplace dates back to prehistoric fire-pits and smoke-canopies in the middle ages. First introduced to Europe in the 11th century, the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Prince Rupert of the Rhine have contributed in shaping the hearth into its current state.

As such a popular home installation, there are many claims and figures out there about fireplace performance. Here are 5 commons myths you might encounter when purchasing or servicing a fireplace.

5 common myths you’ve heard:

  1. Chimneys do not need regular inspections and sweeping. Chimneys must be serviced every year as build-ups of soot and creosote are often the origin of chimney fires. Firemizer reduces the creosote levels by 57%, meaning that chimney inspections will be far less difficult and pricey. However, creosote isn’t the only reason for inspections; debris and nesting animals also affect the structural integrity of your chimney.
  2. Fireplaces are poor sources of heat. Fireplaces can be poor sources if the fire is not maintained properly. Some believe that fireplaces send their heat up the chimney, and wood fires need oxygen to burn. Use a cast-iron fireback to radiate heat back into the room, and opening the flue will dispose of dangerous toxins. Firemizer reduces harmful air pollutants emitted by solid fuels by up to 72%.
  3. Lighter fluid and kerosene will produce a better fire quickly. Though it’s true that it will produce a fire quickly, this will be using harmful and potentially dangerous chemicals. Instead of putting your home at risk, use balls of newspaper or an entirely kerosene-free Firebuilder.
  4. I don’t need to clean my fireplace or chimney more than once a year. How frequently you use your fireplace dictates how often it should be cleaned (ranging from yearly to fortnightly). Always clear ash from the fireplace before starting a new fire (keeping a small bed of ash on the bottom). Firemizer reduces clumps of fuel in your wood, turning your ash into fine powder making clean-up much easier.
  5. It’s ok to leave the fire burning while I’m out or asleep. Absolutely not, fires are unpredictable and there are a number of factors that could contribute to a larger incident. To make sure it’s safely exterminated, throw a cup of water, sand or baking soda on top.

Conclusion:

When properly serviced and maintained, a fireplace makes the perfect addition to any room in the house. Pair your hearth with Firemizer and Firebuilder and get the most out of your solid fuel source saving you time, effort and money.

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