Many of us have a woodstove or fireplace inside our properties for our guest to enjoy on those cold wintry nights or cool Fall days. How many of you have concerns that our city dwelling guests have no idea how to operate a woodstove or even start a fire in a fireplace....SAFELY!

I put this together and leave it in a folder on top or our woodstove in the cabin.

Our woodstove is very efficient and will easily heat the whole main floor including the bedrooms. The ceiling fan does a good job of circulating the room air - medium speed works best - and you will need to open the window in the loft if it gets too warm up there.

Follow the instructions below for safe & cozy operation!

How to start a fire in a woodstove - SAFELY!

Fig. #1 Fig. #2

Open rear vent gate located on the right rear side of the stove (Fig. #2 & #4).

Open the top vent located on the front top left side of the stove. Insert the “T” handle into the slotted control lock - ¼ turn counterclockwise opens this vent (Fig. #1).

Rotate the Bottom Vent/Automatic Thermostat Control Lever to the 2 o’clock position to open the bottom vent flapper. Lever is located on the top left rear of the stove (see Fig. #3). When the stove is burning full sized logs, this thermostat will automatically adjust the airflow to keep the fire going. If you want more airflow, manually open the flapper slightly - don’t go past the 2 o’clock position.

How to start a fire in a woodstove - SAFELY!
How to start a fire in a woodstove - SAFELY!

Fig. #3 Fig. #4

Use the “T” handle to open the front glass door. Firmly twist about 5 separate pages of newspaper and lay them on the bottom grate inside the stove. On top of the twisted newspaper place 4 “Fire Starter Sticks”, stored in the wooden bin to the left of the fireplace. These will ignite easily and burn hot so no more than 4 sticks are needed (Fig. #5).

How to start a fire in a woodstove - SAFELY!

Fig. #5

Now place a loose bed of kindling on top of the starter sticks with some larger 1”to 2” diameter pieces of wood on top of the kindling (Fig. #6).

How to start a fire in a woodstove - SAFELY!

Fig. #6

Twist up another page of newspaper, light it, and hold it inside the stove above the kindling (fig. #7). This allows the hot air to rise up into the flue and initiates a draft.

How to start a fire in a woodstove - SAFELY!

Fig. #7

Light the bed of twisted newspaper under the kindling. Once you have a good fire going, add larger pieces of wood to slowly build up the fire.

The top vent located on the top left side (Fig. #1) should be closed – ¼ turn clockwise - once the larger logs are burning. This allows the stove to burn more efficiently. The Rear Vent Gate on the right rear side of the stove (Fig.4) can be adjusted for air flow – closing it about ½ way when the stove is burning well usually works best. When burning a woodstove, it is recommended to keep a window open an inch or two to allow fresh air into the room (we usually open the top of one of the windows behind the dining room table).

Use the fire screen for added safety around a hot stove.

Please be cautious while opening a burning woodstove to add wood. Open the door slowly to avoid sparks and embers that may “pop” with the sudden added airflow.


Don’t add any wood to the stove 2 to 3 hours before your departure to allow the fire to burn down. The stove will provide radiant heat for several hours. Close the rear and top vent if not already closed and make sure the side and front loading doors are closed and latched. The stove can now safely burn-down.

Though this is specific to our woodstove you can easily make changes for your own stove or fireplace.

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