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BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire

Nick 09 Oct 17 - 03:29 PM
Raggytash 09 Oct 17 - 04:43 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Oct 17 - 05:02 PM
Nick 09 Oct 17 - 05:11 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Oct 17 - 05:19 PM
Gallus Moll 09 Oct 17 - 08:03 PM
Joe Offer 09 Oct 17 - 08:28 PM
punkfolkrocker 09 Oct 17 - 08:40 PM
Steve Shaw 09 Oct 17 - 08:54 PM
Joe Offer 09 Oct 17 - 10:20 PM
DaveRo 10 Oct 17 - 02:52 AM
Nick 10 Oct 17 - 10:53 AM
Steve Shaw 10 Oct 17 - 10:55 AM
Nick 10 Oct 17 - 10:56 AM
punkfolkrocker 10 Oct 17 - 11:00 AM
punkfolkrocker 10 Oct 17 - 11:00 AM
Gallus Moll 11 Oct 17 - 09:52 AM
Iains 11 Oct 17 - 01:01 PM
Raggytash 11 Oct 17 - 02:49 PM
Iains 11 Oct 17 - 04:17 PM
Steve Shaw 11 Oct 17 - 06:25 PM
Raggytash 12 Oct 17 - 03:20 AM
Iains 12 Oct 17 - 03:47 AM
Raggytash 12 Oct 17 - 03:59 AM
DaveRo 12 Oct 17 - 04:03 AM
Iains 12 Oct 17 - 07:50 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Oct 17 - 07:51 AM
Nick 12 Oct 17 - 08:12 AM
Nigel Parsons 12 Oct 17 - 08:19 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Oct 17 - 08:21 AM
Raggytash 12 Oct 17 - 08:39 AM
punkfolkrocker 12 Oct 17 - 08:57 AM
Raggytash 12 Oct 17 - 09:19 AM
Iains 12 Oct 17 - 10:26 AM
Tattie Bogle 12 Oct 17 - 11:09 AM
Steve Shaw 12 Oct 17 - 11:19 AM
JHW 12 Oct 17 - 02:42 PM
punkfolkrocker 12 Oct 17 - 03:02 PM
Nick 22 Oct 17 - 03:07 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Oct 17 - 03:56 PM
Nick 22 Oct 17 - 04:04 PM
Teribus 23 Oct 17 - 04:14 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Oct 17 - 06:34 AM
Teribus 23 Oct 17 - 07:25 AM
Steve Shaw 23 Oct 17 - 07:27 AM
Donuel 23 Oct 17 - 05:14 PM
Steve Shaw 23 Oct 17 - 07:16 PM
Gallus Moll 25 Oct 17 - 06:31 AM
mg 25 Oct 17 - 03:45 PM
Raedwulf 28 Oct 17 - 03:37 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Oct 17 - 07:34 AM
Raedwulf 30 Oct 17 - 01:44 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Oct 17 - 01:57 PM
Raedwulf 30 Oct 17 - 03:15 PM
Gallus Moll 30 Oct 17 - 07:21 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Oct 17 - 07:31 PM
Raedwulf 31 Oct 17 - 02:25 PM
Raedwulf 31 Oct 17 - 02:26 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 31 Oct 17 - 04:27 PM
Steve Shaw 31 Oct 17 - 06:11 PM
Raedwulf 01 Nov 17 - 02:17 PM
punkfolkrocker 01 Nov 17 - 02:24 PM
punkfolkrocker 01 Nov 17 - 02:30 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Nov 17 - 05:48 PM
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Subject: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Nick
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 03:29 PM

I like autumn and winter. And one of the highlights - apart from homemade soup - is open fires. The weather is still mild but it was a bit chilly last week.

Is it too early to even be thinking about it? Do I need to wait for November?

In UK. Temperature still over 50F. Next Monday is coller - perhaps mid 40s - so perhaps an excuse then.

Looking for an excuse for guilty pleasure that I know is not really necessary...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raggytash
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 04:43 PM

An open fire .............. bliss............go on light it tonight, you can always open a window if it gets too warm, and if you have some peat to put on it so much the better.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 05:02 PM

We have two stoves, and one of them has been lit with just a small conflagration most nights for the last couple of weeks. Chimbley sweep coming on Thursday. Ton and a half of smokeless delivered last Friday, on special offer. Sawed up a load of logs two days ago. Get yer fire lit, Nick!


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Nick
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 05:11 PM

10 bags of coal delivered last week. I can hear it whispering from the coal shed some nights when the wind is from the north.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 05:19 PM

Getting all mine delivered at once saved me over fifty quid. I have got space to store it but not where the coal man can drive to. I therefore have big muscles at the moment, girls. as well as my Madeira tan (rapidly fading,so hurry). Now thatís what I call a special offer...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 08:03 PM

for Celts it is always time for a fire!
Whether indoors in the hearth or stove or an open air bonfire, summer or winter- the magic of the flames, the songs and stories, the sadness and laughter....alone or in a gathering, a blazing hot conflagration or even just a flickering candle flame - fire is an essential component of the singers of songs and tellers of tales, the makers of music.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 08:28 PM

I used to think of wildfires as a summer occurrence here in Northern California, and I'd breathe a sigh of relief in September. But recently, the fire season has extended to October. The temperatures are lower, but the winds seem to be higher. There's one heck of a fire burning in the California Wine Country right now.
But it's almost to the point where we'll want to start heating our house. We heat with wood in a "fireplace insert" that burns wood safely and efficiently. We're allowed to use it any time of the year, but we won't be allowed to have open fires outside until maybe November. Our outdoor burning permits were suspended June 28.

-Joe, in wildfire country-


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 08:40 PM

I live in a densely inhabited town centre.
I don't know what the local laws are concerning smokey chimneys.
But every winter just one home a few streets away belches smoke every evening,
and pollutes the entire area.

Throughout winter, we still need slightly open windows to reduce condensation damp;
so the whole back of the house reeks of smoke...

I know which house it is, and it has a horse box parked outside.

We can just imagine their idealised little cosey countrified winter evenings at home,
completely oblivious to the discomfort they cause all other terraced homes for several streets down wind... ??

.. and yes I did grow up on a terraced estate in the 60s and 70s
where we all burned coal & coke fires and paraffin heaters ..
No middle class central heating [or fitted carpets and telephones]

But it's the 21st century now, and urban communities are more aware of good healthy environment....


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 08:54 PM

They're probably doing illegal things. Ask at your town hall. Here in the middle of westcountry-nowhere no-one gives a damn. We burn mostly smokeless fuel, though we don't have to (Homefire Ovals is what we buy), topped up with a bit of wood that I've cut meself and dried for a few months. Burning wet or unseasoned wood, or cheap coal, is bad news not only for the environment but also for your chimbley.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Joe Offer
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 10:20 PM

In many urban places in California, it is illegal to burn in a fireplace on certain days, usually when an an inversion layer traps smoke close to the ground. We're in a rural area and burn in a stove approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, so we're exempt. But we still get a lot of smoke in the area on certain days, and it can be hard to breathe.
Most of the time, the bothersome smoke is from wildfires and is uncontrollable; but occasionally on especially cold days in the winter, it's from fireplaces. Well-designed heating stoves help a lot.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: DaveRo
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 02:52 AM

Smokeless zones seem to have become Smoke_control_areas


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Nick
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 10:53 AM

In light of the Global Warming thread, I have decided to abandon the thought of having a fir e and instead have started the rather tedious job of burying the 500kg of coal I have just purchased


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 10:55 AM

Thatíll warm you up, Nick. Hadnít thought of it like that!


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Nick
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 10:56 AM

I considered setting fire to it all but...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 11:00 AM

.. alternatively a new hobby to occupy the long winter days and nights cooped up indoors at home...

Coal carving handcrafted figurines, models, etc.... ??


[let's see if these pesky emojis have restarted posting properly again..]


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 11:00 AM

nope...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 09:52 AM

- It is essential to have a fire burning in the hearth on Hogmanay!
that, along with all the other tasks and preparations for the change of the year, is important.
And - when the 'Old new year' comes a couple of weeks later- that must be marked too.
Also the seasonal festivals of Imbolc, Beltane, Lunastal and Samhain!


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Iains
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 01:01 PM

Is it ever OK to light an open fire? It is a very inefficient way of burning fuel. Far better to burn in a stove. Less pollution and more heat directed to where it is required, rather than up the chimney.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raggytash
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 02:49 PM

And ZERO romance ....................

Sorry Iains, an open fire is a thing of beauty


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Iains
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 04:17 PM

Raggytash. I have no real axe to grind either way. I am more concerned that I can burn imported polish coal,yet can no longer cut my own peat.
The world is insane.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 06:25 PM

Well you can blame your hero Maggie for the fact that the coal you burn is Polish. Thereís plenty of good olí UK coal under your feet. As for peat, peat is not a renewable resource. Thereís more than enough peat for you and thousands of householders to cut turf for their personal domestic use. But that ainít how it is. I can go to a garage forecourt round here and buy large packs of commercially-exploited Irish peat in compressed briquettes very cheaply. But I donít live in Ireland, do I. I can go to the garden centre and buy huge sacks of peat-based compost, ruthlessly stripped from moorland and lowland deposits. And thatís nothing compared to the exploitation by the horticultural industry behind closed doors that we hardly see. Thing is, strip peat from moorland deposits where the climate is always wet and you expose the land to erosion and surface water flooding. Peat is a huge water-holding sponge that is hydrologically crucial. Thatís why you may be prevented from cutting it. Donít blame Poland. Blame the capitalist system which says exploit to the hilt today and sod tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raggytash
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 03:20 AM

Iains, why can you not cut your own Peat? I love the aroma of peat smoke.

I don't have an open fire but occasionally light a piece of peat on the gas cooker just to have the smell of peat in the house. It's good for my soul ............... if I have such a thing.

Peat briquettes are crap, as nothing compared to the real thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Iains
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 03:47 AM

This argument over the ever Blessed Maggie and the coalminers has been explained very carefully to you before shaw. Now pay attention. The UK mining industry had been in serious decline for decades before Maggie came on the scene. Scargill merely fast forwarded the inevitable. Polish coal is imported into Britain and Ireland because it is cost competitive. No other reason. As a man who constantly boasts about cheap wine deals, you should realise price wins, almost every time.
I see no need to blame the capitalist system, it is what it is. As yet no-one has found a fully functional substitute.
"As for peat, peat is not a renewable resource." By that facile statement are you trying to imply that coal is a renewable resource?
For a well educated scientist you have a lot to learn laddie.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raggytash
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 03:59 AM

I would have thought that Peat is a renewable source, it is growing every year but perhaps not at the rate we use it.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: DaveRo
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 04:03 AM

In the long term, coal is a renewable resource.

But in the long term...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Iains
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 07:50 AM

Raggytash. You are correct but the timeframe is over is over a fair few human generations for peat, and considerably longer for coal. For this conversation I think it safer to regard them as fossil fuels.
Interestingly there is a school of thought that upland bogs in Ireland were created by human interference, namely vegetation clearance, leading to soil erosion and subsequent acidification. Just a bunch of Neolithic vandals with no nanny state or greenpeace.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 07:51 AM

Well, insulter-in-chief, you have a fair bit to learn about manners. Now as a matter of fact I made no comment about coal being a renewable resource or not, and you know that I know it isn't in any sense that we use the term, so enough of that rubbish if you don't mind. As for peat, for it to be regarded as a renewable resource you would have to remove it infinitesimally slowly. As I said, there's enough peat for private householders to cut turf for their own use and, responsibly done, it would have little impact on the environment. But that hasn't been what we've been doing with peat, is it? When we say that timber is a renewable resource, the caveat is that we either replace what we take and/or take it no more quickly than it grows back. We can't control the regrowth of peat (and anthropogenic climate change will actually slow its regrowth in many areas), so while it may be responsible to exploit it on a small, non-commercial scale we can't remotely regard it as a renewable resource.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Nick
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 08:12 AM

Oh dear.

That's the last light hearted thread I start on Mudcat. I remember why I stopped using it


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 08:19 AM

31st October (Samhain/Hallowe'en)
5 November (Guy Fawkes)


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 08:21 AM

The point about those dismal packs of peat briquettes, which mostly comes from Ireland, is that, like peat-based composts, they represent the irresponsible exploitation of peat. Only when there's a sufficient outcry does anything get done about such things.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raggytash
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 08:39 AM

In Ireland, the people I know who do use Briquettes do so instead of going to cut their own turf. Swings and roundabouts in that case.


Still think Briquettes are a very poor substitute though.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 08:57 AM

Seeing as you've reminded me of something long forgotten...

Back in Grammar School in the early 70s I'm sure our class was taken out for a day coach trip to see peat being cut....

But why...????? what educational / recreational purpose...???

As far as we were concerned it'd just have been a few hours off school and a chance to mess about...
and enjoying the novelty of packed sandwiches, crisps, and fizzy pop instead of school dinners...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raggytash
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 09:19 AM

There is something very therapeutic about watching peat being cut and stacked in the traditional way.

One down side these days is that once dried it is often collected in heavy duty plastic bags and left on the bogs to be collected as and when needed.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Iains
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 10:26 AM

Raggytash. Ireland was found to be ignoring the EU Habitat Directives and had to enforce a ban on peat cutting within SAC areas. This mainly protected upland bog, the story on raised bogs I have no firsthand knowledge of. Traditional bog cutting is not regarded as very green, or environmentally friendly anymore. Yet Bord na Můna can still operate commercially continuing to destroy bog to produce briquettes and fire power stations. Best not to see what other EU countries had done to their bogs prior to the directives.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 11:09 AM

Our area went "smoke controlled" about 20 years ago, so bye-bye to our open fire. Only period houses/listed buildings and more rural cottages were allowed to continue to burn wood and coal, unless you went to the big expense of putting in a wood-burner with catalytic converter.
We went for the cheaper option of a "coal effect" gas fire, which, in fact, we hardly ever use. Meantime our neighbour keeps chopping down allegedly dead hundreds-of-years-old trees, and we are regularly disturbed by the noise pollution of chainsaws working overtime.
We don't miss going out in all weathers to refill the coal bucket, stock up the logs, or empty the ashes and do all the extra dusting that comes with an open fire. Our kids and their friends missed lolling on the hearthrug right in front of the fire -until a spark hit them!
The big question for us is when to put the central heating back on; managed without it until a week or so ago. Not bad for Edinburgh!


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 11:19 AM

I took a sixth form field course in South Wales in 1979. Half way up the Blorenge I stopped the group to demonstrate the age and thickness of the blanket peat at one particular spot. I plunged my walking stick into the peat, declaring that the three feet it had descended to the base layer underneath represented 11,000 years of peat growth. When I withdrew the stick the ferrule had disappeared. You never know, one day a scientist studying the area may find a very puzzling ďfossilĒ...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: JHW
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 02:42 PM

1970


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 12 Oct 17 - 03:02 PM

..reminds me, I've not lit a fart at a party since circa 1990...

[and that was through Marks 'n' Sparks cotton boxers and a tight pair of Levis - .. barely a singe... clothes were better made back then]

Wouldn't risk it now.. might not just be a fart....

oh.. and of course.. I'm now a proper mature grown up...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Nick
Date: 22 Oct 17 - 03:07 PM

Succumbed.

But I have got a cold and feel sorry for myself.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Oct 17 - 03:56 PM

Reminds me of an old joke.

The chess convention had just ended and the participants had gathered in the hotel lobby. They were bragging to each other rather stridently about their match-winning prowess when the hotel manager, having had enough of the noise and braggadocio, ordered them all out into the street.

"What do you think you're doing!" demanded his horrified wife.

"Well," he replied, "if there's one thing I can't stand it's chess nuts boasting in an open foyer..."


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Nick
Date: 22 Oct 17 - 04:04 PM

Ho ho


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Teribus
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 04:14 AM

"There?s plenty of good ol? UK coal under your feet. As for peat, peat is not a renewable resource."

Of course there is "plenty of good ol? UK coal under your feet" and I think it was costing something like GBP250 per ton, NUM permitting to get hold of it. The price of coal mined and shipped from abroad at around the time you are talking about was about GBP16 to 8 per ton. Now as a well educated scientist perhaps you can tell us which industrial base is more commercially competitive on the world market. One that is paying GBP 250 per ton of coal to generate electrical power needed by industry, or one that is paying GBP 8 per ton?

As for that coal, like peat, it is not a renewable resource either.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 06:34 AM

I'm well enough educated to recognise that I'm not going to be insulting people, as you do, in nice threads. That's both of you now.

We always start off with little fires in October-ish then we get hooked on them until at least late April. We burn a fair bit of wood cut from our own trees (a few dead elms over the years, sadly, though they regrow from the roots). Our central heating is Calor Gas which is very pricey to run so we're stingy with that. We've just updated to a more efficient LPG boiler so I might have to redo my sums. Mrs Steve likes the place a damn sight hotter that I do. I read somewhere last week that that's a common phenomenon. I wear shorts and just a short-sleeved shirt even through the winter. She's been in jumpers and jeans for weeks (not the same ones all the time...)


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Teribus
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 07:25 AM

Those who are determined to take offence and find insult will always succeed and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about that, it is their problem. People do however get tired of them constantly harping on about it. I am, however, at a complete and utter loss as to how anything stated in my post above could be considered in any way, or sense, "insulting".


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 07:27 AM

😘


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Donuel
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 05:14 PM

In Washington DC anytime seems ok to light a nuclear fire but after Christmas seems most convenient.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 23 Oct 17 - 07:16 PM

It's been hot in this house all day. Mrs Steve's been baking Christmas cakes and the washing's had to be indoors due to the miserable drizzly weather (I think I've got early-onset SAD). So I had to light a few logs just to get the washing dry. I'm living in a Turkish bath I tell you.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 25 Oct 17 - 06:31 AM

I last posted on this thread six days before the unexpected and tragic demise of my Copper Beech tree *see 'signs of Autumn' thread)

Now I am contemplating future fires from the sad remains---- however I also hope to have artefacts like a garden bench, perhaps a chainsaw carving, perhaps some indoor pieces, maybe a mirror frame, a wee table, a 'turned' bowl------ I realise the wood will need time to season, some things might not be possible, but we have several local craftspeople so I can hope and dream----


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: mg
Date: 25 Oct 17 - 03:45 PM

i say halloween and the next day is for watchfires. 9 p.m. your time nov 1, to guide wandering souls home. You must use your judgement of course as to whether to have an outside fire ...maybe not in california...lanterns will do...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raedwulf
Date: 28 Oct 17 - 03:37 AM

Burning wet or unseasoned wood... That's incorrect, Steve. Burning wood is never (alright, almost never) bad for the environment. Or, rather, burning wood is mostly carbon neutral. Especially if the bloke that supplies your wood tries to plant 2 trees for every one he fells, so that he still has work in 20 years! Seriously, trees grow, lock up a bit of carbon, get burnt, release some of that carbon, another tree grows, soaks up that carbon, round and round we grow... I mean, go... Whereas in burning coal (& oil & gas), you're releasing carbon that has been locked up for millions of years. That's bad for the environment (never mind all the faff of extraction & production, as opposed to your logs, which have probably travelled less than 30 miles).

You're right about unseasoned wood being, well, let's say worse, rather than bad, for your chimney. Drier wood burns faster & hotter, and contains *gasp* less moisture! So you get hotter, drier smoke which rises more quickly. The problem with wet wood is that a deal of the burning energy is wasted on heating the water. So you get cooler smoke that rises more slowly & leaves more deposits in your flue. Stovax is your friend there. The other advantage of burning wood is that you can mix the ash into your compost bin / spread it around the garden. Coal is too sulphurous, so you have to bin coal ash.

My central heating IS a multi-fuel stove. I prefer to burn wood, for the reasons above. The most common woods in my neck of the... can't think of the word... Are willow & poplar. I much prefer poplar - it's straighter grained, so easier to split, and willow has a tendency to spit, making it less attractive on an open fire. There's a couple of poems on the burning qualities of different woods. As for when to light a fire... Whenever you like!


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Oct 17 - 07:34 AM

I wouldn't rely on Stovax to rescue you from the bad habit of burning wet wood. Or, if you do, get your chimney swept a lot more frequently. The Stovax can cause sudden downfalls of large amounts of loosened sooty deposits in unswept chimneys, even causing blockages and the danger of carbon monoxide flooding into your house. At least get your wood reasonably dry. If you buy wood, it's cheaper to buy seasoned or kiln-dried then it is to buy Stovax and keep calling in the sweep at fifty quid a chimney. I burn mostly Homefire Ovals, mixed with a bit of wood on colder days. I have my chimneys swept once a year.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raedwulf
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 01:44 PM

What bad habit? I never said I was in the habit of burning unseasoned wood. The point is that it's not, as you said, bad for the environment. Burning wood is mostly carbon neutral. And Stovax reduces the risk of chimney fires, which largely arise out of deposits; it doesn't eliminate them. Although it definitely does make chimbleys easier to clean. Perhaps not important if you're paying the bloke x quid anyway, but useful if you're doing it yerself! ;-)

If it increases the risk of blockages, I can only imagine your's is two inches wide (never mind the quality, feel the width! Phwooooar!!) Further, I would point out that, whilst it may not be true in older properties, CO poisoning should not be a risk. The previous owners (vandals) had ripped out the purpose built Aga, alas. I had the multi-fuel stove installed. The chap doing it used a massive drill bit make a 4" (or possibly more) hole in the exterior wall. Purpose? Air-flow - precisely to prevent CO build-up. Can't answer for older properties or open fires, but it shouldn't be a risk with a properly installed stove.

Did you enjoy the poems, yer miserable bugger? ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 01:57 PM

I had one flue lined with lightweight concrete thirty years ago. It's great. It's seven inches in diameter. We've left the other one unlined but our heating engineer has passed it as safe for a stove. The risk with Stovax is when you use it in an unswept chimney, as I said. It's OK in swept flues but our sweep told us that it was unnecessary so we stopped using it. No issues!


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raedwulf
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 03:15 PM

Well, if you never get a chimney swept... Other than that, I can't imagine falling deposits ever causing a blockage. Mine's about the same width. It was relined when I had the stove installed. The real irritation was the bend just above the hearth. That meant they could only get a 6" liner in, so a 6" liner is what I have all the way up.

The next size up (8") would have meant I could have had a stove with a back boiler and, therefore, radiators... Mind you, I still haven't forgiven the Previous Owners. In a road of 12 30's built council houses, next door is the only one that still has the original fitted Aga. Not just heating! And yes, I can & do cook on the Canterbury stove (sort of). But, oh! For that original Aga!! Bloody vandals... :-/


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 07:21 PM

The date for my first open fire of the season was - -- Monday 30th October!
It was pure dead Baltic this morning and in fact overnight Sunday so- - the hint of frost in the air and the desire for a woollen jumper were the signals and I duly lit a fire; gorgeous!
(think perhaps changing the clocks so it got dark really early had something to do with it too?)


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Oct 17 - 07:31 PM

Blimey, I'm going back decades now, but I'm sure I read a warning that you should get your chimney swept before using Stovax. Anyway, we burn some wood but mainly Homefire Ovals. If I buy wood (maybe 25 quids'-worth per annum) I buy kiln-dried. If I burn my own wood chopped from the garden, which is by far the most of the wood we burn, it's been dried under cover all summer at least. That's not long enough, I know, but at least it doesn't hiss when I put it on the fire! That's bad...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raedwulf
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 02:25 PM

You might well be right, Steve. I've only been using the stuff for a couple of years; what it was decades ago, you old fogey... ;-) It's supposed to convert 'wet' tar / creosote (and soot) into 'dry' allegedly harmless clinker - easier to sweep & less likely to catch light. The active ingredient is ammonium chloride, for whatever that is worth.

My stove being my central heating & washing drying (no tumble dryer!), and if it's lit I might as well use it for defrosting, (covered) cooking, heating a pan of water instead of using the kettle... I need a ton to a ton & a quarter of wood over-winter. I don't need to be smokeless & prefer to burn wood to coal products, for reasons previously mentioned. And a quick shufti says it's more economic too. I can get 3 builders bags of wood (1/4 - 1/3 of a ton) for ?132, so my winter's fuel costs me in the order of ?150-?200. Whereas it looks like smokeless coal would set me back @ ?320-350, and your Ovals @ ?500 for a METRIC tonne... Short weight. And whilst we'd have to guess about the calorific values of Ovals vs Smokeless vs wood, I will point out that my stove is (if I remember aright) rated at 8.5 KwH for coal, against 9 KwH for wood. I'll stick with wood! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raedwulf
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 02:26 PM

And I've no idea why the 'cat has decided to convert pound signs into question marks... A hidden Leave / Remain agenda?! :o


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 04:27 PM

The optimum date for lighting a fire would, of course, be Jim Morrison's birthday, which is December 8th. That date works out pretty well for denizens of the Northern Hemisphere, but not so much for those in the Southern Hemisphere. For them, the best date is July 3rd, which is the date upon which Morrison died.

For best results, it is recommended that the actual fire lighting be done by a baby.


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 31 Oct 17 - 06:11 PM

Well that's it, Raedwulf. If you have lots of nasty creosote, then you discover the existence of Stovax, you get lots of loose deposits that can fall down your chimbley and cause problems. I think the aim is to start with a clean flue and keep it creosote-free with Stovax. Do you need it at all? Well I haven't bothered with it for about fifteen years now and the sweep's happy!   A good tip with a stove is to get the flue really hot just after you've lit the fire. Leave the vents open until you've got a helluva fierce blaze, and only then shut down. The flue will get hot all the way up and will draw up the air from your room in a really good draught. Sticky creosote deposits only happen if your flue is cold because you've shut down too early and/or you're burning wet wood. Can be a problem with big, unlined chimneys that are hard to get hot, but not really an issue with lined flues about seven or eight inches wide. Mind you, I've heard horror stories about people who've either been badly advised as to the type of steel flue they've been persuaded to fit or who have cut corners. The best flue liner you can afford is cheap when you consider the problems that cheap liners cause. False economy.

Yours sincerely, old fogey, using stoves for 31 years...😂


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Raedwulf
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 02:17 PM

Indeed, Steve. I always let it burn to start with. Apart from the matter of getting the air moving, there's the simple matter, with a stove, of heating a cold, deadweight mass of iron so that heat starts radiating. On top of which, of course, a heated chimbley warms the upper stories... And I agree about false economies too!

Stovax is, perhaps, an unnecessary luxury, but as I said before, it also depends on who is sweeping your chimney, doesn't it? In my experience, it doesn't cause any problems. The worst that is going to happen is a mucky hearth that needs cleaning, and that you have to do anyway. I don't use the open fire in the front room much, I mostly use the stove in the dining room. No surprise that that's where I use the Stovax, so I don't even have to worry about a mucky hearth.

Lovely to talk to you again anyway, you... I've forgotten are you a Scouse or Manky git? :p


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 02:24 PM

The council bricked up my mum's fire places back in the 80's..
At least then when baby birds fell down the chimney we could scare them up out the windows...

I'd love to be able to light a fire under the bloody nuisance seagulls that have permanently squatted the disused chimney...


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 02:30 PM

errrmm.. "At least before then..."


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Subject: RE: BS: What date is it ok to light an open fire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Nov 17 - 05:48 PM

Manky git by birth, Scouser, aka Liverpool FC man, by sentiment. But thirty years in Cornwall, sufficient I reckon to qualify me to be able to call tourists "emmets." But, as Raggytash would testify, still fiercely protective of me northern accent. Think Lisa Nandy but less posh. Or just think Lisa Nandy... 😍

One great thing about stoves is that they fill your house with fresh air drawn in from outside. Me mum's house up north is centrally heated and the flues are blocked off. I nearly die within minutes every visit...


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