Preparing for the next cold spell

With the cold season barely half-way through we have already seen a number of cold spells during November and December and we are sure there is more to come. The Met Office has been working hard to keep on top of the various weather systems affecting different parts of the UK and we are pretty sure that at one time or another this winter fireplaces and stoves have been brought into use to help warm homes. Given this increased use and what is likely still to come, this month we take a look at what you can do to make sure your fireplace or stove are ready to be put to action at any given time safely and effectively.


Keep your fireplace and stove clean

After every use you should be clearing the grate and making sure that any ash or debris is removed so as not act as a block or hazard for the next fire. If you have louvres or grills on your fireplace they can also trap dust and debris preventing the air from circulating properly (and could even present a fire hazard) so it is important to keep them clean and dirt free.

Check your chimney

You should be checking your chimney for blockages and damage once a year. It should also be cleaned annually, ideally during the warmer months when it is not in use. However, if you notice any damage or that smoke isn’t clearing properly, get a specialist in to check it.

Stock up on logs

Stock up on logs so that you are not looking for them when the next cold spell hits. The last thing you want to do is have to settle for lower quality logs which are bad for the environment and your health. Make sure that you source logs from a reputable dealer, that they have been sustainably sourced, and that they have been cut stored in a dry environment for at least six months.

Build it well and don’t overload it

Build your fire well and it will burn more efficiently. Place kindling on the bottom and logs on top. Kindling is better than liquids to get a fire started and keep it going. A smaller fire will not generate as much smoke nor burn too hot to cause potential damage to your fireplace or chimney, so don’t be tempted to overload it.

Get a fireguard

If you don’t already have one, now is the time to get one. They will protect your home from runaway sparks that can burn somebody or even start a fire and are a particular safety tool for those with young children and pets in the home.

Gas fireplaces

For those fireplaces that burn gas it is important to keep an eye on the pilot light (where you have one). If anything looks unusual or the pilot light has gone off, get a specialist in to check it.


If you are looking for advice on proper maintenance or need to source logs or accessories for your fireplace, talk to us at Fiveways Fires & Stoves. Available on the phone or online you can reach us on 020 8127 4747 or at and we would be happy to have an informal chat or provide a free, no-obligation quote.

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