Since its first creation the axe hasn’t changed much. It may be one of the oldest tools known to mankind, yet for all that time it has been used, it still has a few problems.

Traditional axe designs are difficult to work with and do have their dangers when attempting to split wood for firewood. Thanks to a man from the deep forest of Sipoo in Finland, named Heikki, we have now found an answer to these problems.

When cutting down trees to build a home for himself and his wife to enjoy their retirement, he was struck more than once when swinging the axe, which he had to lift high over his head to create enough speed to split fresh, strong logs – an activity which eventually gave him serious back pain.

Inspired by the prying power of his crowbar, he began to work on a prototype for a new type of axe head that would not only be safer to use but also more effective.

So, how does it work?

The axe may look very different from any axe you’ve seen before, but its simple design is actually a very intelligent construction that combines a lever mechanism with rotational action. The head of the axe is attached from the side, not the centre, altering the centre of gravity.

When you strike a log with the ‘Leveraxe’, the head will break in a few millimetres before stopping. The counterweight on the right side of the head forces the axe to fall sideways, splitting the log apart easily.

Leveraxe was featured on Kickstarter where it quickly became a very popular choice for funding and exceeded its targets by a long way. If you often chop your own wood and find that it can be difficult and even dangerous at times, then you may want to consider investing in a Leveraxe.

Their ergonomic design makes chopping wood easier than ever so you can have home firewood easier than ever before.

 

In an attempt to save money, we often fall into false economical traps which end up costing us more in the long run. Buying cheaper products that run out faster, break sooner, or simply don’t work at all, leads to us paying more to replace the cheap products we bought in the first place.

The same happens with home fireplaces. Lots of customers try and save money by purchasing cheaper, non-approved solid fuels to burn in their home appliances. Although they are expecting to cut down on their costs, more often than not, those cheaper fuels end up damaging their appliances, leading to costly repair bills.

Non-approved fuels appeal to consumers with the promise of saving them money. But in order to do this they need to cut corners on quality.

The Risks

Non-approved fuels are cheaper per bag, but due to a high Petcoke content, these non-approved fuels burn extremely hot, leading them to burn out quickly. The extreme temperatures produced by the Petcoke also damage appliances as well as chimneys and flues.

Using these types of fuels will invalidate any warranty you have on your new stove, so if they do damage your appliances, you will have to pay for all the repairs out of your own pocket.

Cheap fuels have an extremely high sulphur content; this will lead to poor air quality in your area. And if you live in a smoke control zone, you can be faced with fines and prosecution for using them.

Use of Petcoke briquettes is unsuitable for nearly all home stove appliances as it can result in damage to grates, flue liners as well as other components on the fuel bed area, which can rack up repair costs totalling hundreds of pounds.

If you are unsure about which is the best fuel to use in your home appliances, contact Pearson Fuels coal merchants today where we can advise you on the ideal solution.

 

 

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a by-product of burning solid fuel: it is invisible, and odourless, and it can kill.

Although it normally passes harmlessly out of our chimney when we burn solid fuel in a stove or open fireplace, if a chimney is blocked or becomes faulty, then Carbon Monoxide can enter our home and become a real problem.

Faulty central heating systems and gas appliances such as electrical fires and ovens can also leak CO into our home, so what can be done to prevent leaks and help keep ourselves safe?

Symptoms

Because we can’t see, taste or smell CO, how do we know when a leak has happened? Carbon Monoxide is a killer, so it is important to be able to identify the warning symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning quickly. The 6 signs of potential poisoning you should look out for are:

  1. Headaches
  2. Dizziness
  3. Nausea
  4. Breathlessness
  5. Collapse
  6. Loss of consciousness

If you suspect that there has been a carbon monoxide leak, and someone is suffering from the affects, what are the steps that should be taken?

  • Firstly, you should get fresh air immediately. Open all doors and windows, turn off all gas appliances and leave the house.
  • Once you are out of the house it is important you seek medical attention immediately. CO poisoning can be detected by a blood or breath test which can be carried out by a trained health professional.
  • Before you return to your home you will need to have it thoroughly checked by a professional engineer to make sure the leak has been fixed and the home is safe to return to.

Protecting against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

How do you stop something you can’t see, hear or smell? To prevent Carbon monoxide poisoning from happening it is important that you follow these steps:

  • Have your chimney swept regularly
  • Have a ventilation system fitted above your fire
  • Use registered installers for any solid fuel appliance
  • Fit an audible Carbon Monoxide detector in your property
  • Inspect your central heating systems and gas appliances yearly for any leakages or damage.
  • Use smokeless coals and never leave appliances burning if you leave the home or overnight.

If you often buy smokeless fuels, then you have probably noticed the sheer amount of size options available across different stores. Does the size of the briquette have such a dramatic effect on the performance of the fire, or is it simply a marketing scheme to make it seem as though there is more choice?

In actual fact, the size of the briquettes you burn actually make a huge difference to the resulting fire. Larger briquettes not only give a more authentic look to your fire – if aesthetics are important to you – they also allow for better air flow in your fire thanks to the larger gaps between the briquettes. With increased airflow you will notice larger and better flames in your stove.

If you have an open fire or a glass fronted stove then large briquettes are your best option. They will create a more balanced heat output and will create more of a picturesque fire in your grate.

Small briquettes sacrifice the visual appeal in place of a higher heat output and a much longer fire life. Their small size is deceiving as they are more densely packed into a tighter firebed, restricting airflow so that they burn with a much more intense glow, radiating heat for up to 18 hours.

If you have a closed appliance where a visual fire isn’t necessary, then smaller briquettes are your best option for a more economical heat output.

Mid-sized briquettes are the perfect compromise between visual appearance and the extended fire life that strikes between smaller and large briquettes. These are the recommended smokeless fuel for all appliance types as well as open fires as they provide a great visual flame, yet they are economical with their heat output and burn time.

Home fireplaces are the perfect addition to our homes in winter and to our gardens in the summer evenings where we can sit around them and enjoy time together with family. Lit fires do pose a danger, however, when it comes to having animals.

Our pets love to lay around the fire too, but owners need to be careful in order to avoid any accidents from happening:

Training

Always teach your pets the boundaries when approaching a lit fire. Most dogs and cats tend to know by instinct not to go too close to fire but curiosity can sometimes get the better of them.

Don’t Play Near Fire

Whilst your animal may know not to go near the fire, sometimes they can inadvertently get too close; wagging tails, long fur, and sensitive paws can all accidentally get caught by the fire if they are playing too close to it. If you are playing with your pets, make sure you do it well away from the fire.

Gates

A great preventative measure for your indoor fireplace is to set up a gate to protect animals, as well as children, from getting too close to your fire. Avoid anything made of glass as animals tend to interact with things they can see their reflections in.

Keep an eye out

Pets can be quick; they can steal food in the blink of an eye and take off with an unattended slipper faster than you can think, so when a fireplace is in use, either indoors or outdoors, make sure you know where your pet is at all times.

It only takes a second for a pet to get too close to the flames. If you have to leave the fire unattended for any time, take the pet with you rather than leave them by themselves.

Contact Pearson Fuels coal merchants for all your fuel needs through winter and summer.

 

Fireplaces have moved away from simply being a functional piece of home heating to being a visual design piece that blends with the rest of our home and even adds to our home’s aesthetic.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular design trends to see how people are making a statement with their fireplaces:

TV or Art Directly Above The Fireplace

2017’s most popular installation request was to have a TV or art piece placed directly above their modern gas fireplace. In the past this type of installation required the inclusion of protective heat barriers, safety clearances and noisy venting fans to prevent damage. Today’s Cool Touch Wall Technology means that you can now hang anything above your fireplace.

Balance

As TV’s are getting larger and lighter each year, having yours hung above your fireplace can create an unbalanced perspective over a small fireplace. To correct this, you can either opt for a larger fireplace or a smaller TV; Larger fireplaces may fit your budget but not your home and having a fireplace too big for a room will produce too much heat to bare. The best solution is to shift focus back from your television to your fireplace with extended view panels.

Extended View Panels

Blended seamlessly with your fireplace the extended viewing panels create visual balance and amplify flames for maximum impact. They sit flush to the wall and are made from reflective black glass so they can easily stretch out the visual perspective of your fireplace so it matches the width of your TV or art work.

Frameless Fireplaces

Many modern designs make use of frameless, clean linear lines and an uninterrupted fire view. You can finish them with any material which is why they are so loved by designers trying to create a unique aesthetic for the living room.

Visit Pearson fuels for all your smokeless coal and imported firewood needs.

For those debating whether to install a fireplace in their home, the most common question they have to ask themselves is which type of fuel they want to burn.

With a multi-fuel stove that problem is solved. These stove types allow you to burn a number of different fuel types in the same fireplace without the need for any changes or alterations in-between burns.

And that isn’t the only positive of having a multi-fuel stove installed, they also have a whole host of other benefits:

  1. Disaster Proof

If you should ever experience a power cut, your multi-fuel stove will still be able to create a toasty fire to keep you and your family warm until the heating can come back on.

  1. Fuel Choice

You can burn a variety of different fuels in your stove to suit your needs and preferences. Logs, smokeless coal and eco-friendly solid fuels all vary in price at different times, so you don’t have to be dependent on the price of a power company.

  1. Efficient

Solid fuels burn at a very high temperature and for a very long time making them one of the most efficient ways of heating our home. A living room fireplace can heat the rooms surrounding and those above your living room too.

  1. Condensation

Solid fuel heating can significantly reduce the amount of condensation which can cause damp and mould in our homes.

  1. Ventilation

Chimneys constantly pull fresh air through the house, removing any polluted air.

  1. Rising Energy Costs

Energy companies can charge whatever they like to supply energy to your home whilst fuel companies strive to keep costs low and as fair as possible.

  1. Smokeless Zone Safe

There are a variety of smokeless coals and other fuels you can use so you can still have a roaring fire in smoke control areas.

  1. Off the grid

If you live in rural areas it can be difficult to access a gas main line. Multi-fuel stoves provide a great alternative that cuts out the hassle of getting your home connected.