These 22 Household Items Can Help You Start a Fire

What Household Items Can You Use To Start a Fire?

Almost anything can start a fire if you come to think of it. Regardless if you are in the wilderness or you are at home, it is pretty easy to start a fire without proper fire starters. If you are going to start a fire for some important reason such as cooking or heating, always practice precaution.

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What household items can you use to start a fire? There are several household items you can utilize as fire starters. Among those are chapsticks, dryer lint, duct tape, and a magnifying glass.

Whatever you need the fire for, I’ve listed below the common household things you can use to start a fire.


Greasier chips mean they are high in fat, which means that they equal a high fuel value.

This kind of chips will be a much better fire starter. Start by removing the chips from the bag, light them up with fire, and there you go! You now have a startup fire that can be used to start a medium fire.


Yes, chapsticks are not only good for your lips, but they are also a good fire starter. However, waxy chapsticks are highly flammable. Smear chapstick onto any flammable surface.

This will extend the amount of time the fire will burn for you. 

Duct Tape

And you thought duct tape was to only secure packages or items, but no. Crumple a few feet of duct tape and for a large ball, and light with an open flame.

You can also create a canister out of the duct tape and be able to bring it with you anywhere.

Cotton Balls And Petroleum

Waxy chapsticks get its waxiness from petroleum jelly. Wrap the cotton balls with petroleum jelly and have a fire that would last longer.


I’m sure you know that paper is flammable. Any kind of paper will do. You can use cardboard, newspaper, or any paper will do the trick. Roll the paper into small pieces of sticks and use them just like how you use any other logs on a fire.

Dryer Lint

It’s satisfying removing the lint out of the dryer, but it will be more satisfying if you reuse it. Rather than throwing it away, store it in a closed place and save it for when you need it.

Dryer lint is a fast and easy to light household item. The form from a dryer lint will last enough to get a larger fire going.

Guitar Pick

A guitar pick would seem a bit of an odd choice to start a fire, but it does work. Guitar picks are a lightweight option and a great compact in addition to your fire kit. This will surely get a good fire going.

Magnifying Glass

During my childhood, I’ve tried using a magnifying glass to create fire. This is among the best ways to create a fire from using household items. The trick is to catch the sunlight, and directly point the beam of concentrated natural light onto some dry paper.

This technique may take a while, so you must have patience while doing so. You have to be able to have a decent flame after a while. If you don’t have a magnifying glass, you can use just about any glass or mirror to have the same outcome.

Flint And Steel

You can also use flint and steel from your household to create a fire. However, not every household has this, but some do. You will use the steel to strike the flint and create friction.

You will also need dry tinders to catch the spark. But you can have a full flame if you blow on it.

This is difficult to do, especially in a windy area.

Battery And Light Bulb

The use of a battery and a light bulb must be one of the ingenious methods for generating fire. This requires a large D battery and a basic incandescent lightbulb.

You have to expose the filaments inside the lightbulb. To do that, you have to shutter the lightbulb. Next, take the plug end of the lightbulb and let the negative and positive terminals of the battery meet.

This will heat the tungsten filament you exposed from shattering the lightbulb.

Friction Fire

Are you a fan of watching survival shows? If yes, then I’m sure you are familiar with this technique.

This involves 2 pieces of dry wood with a small hole or indent drilled to create a fire.

Use the dry stick that fits in the hole you dug. Hold the stick in between your hands, and quickly turn it back and forth. You will create friction, which will then create your fire.

It is important to use a thin and dry tinder sitting at the top of the hole. You will need to catch this on fire from the heat and sparks that were generated through the fiction below.

Battery And Foil Wrapper

You can create fire by using a double-A and triple-A battery with a foil wrapper. You should cut the foil wrapper into little strips and then twist them in the middle.

It should look like a bow tie. Next, touch the foil wrapper to the battery terminal on each end.

Battery And Steel Wool

You can also use a D battery and a ball steel wool to make a fire. Loosen up the steel wool. Therefore it’s not packed too tightly. You have to touch the battery terminals to the steel wool.

This will create a short circuit with heat. It will be enough to set the steel wool on fire.

Since we’re talking about how to start a fire using household items, I’ll also discuss some flammable household items.

Take some precautions of lists below to avoid any unwanted fire to occur.

Cooking equipment

Cooking equipment is harmless when unused, but can be dangerous when in use. Pans and pots can overheat and cause a massive fire if left unattended by the cook.

Always keep a close eye on your cooking to avoid any accidents.

When you’re using oil while cooking, it gets even worse. Oils are flammable when they reach a flashing point.


Maintain a one-meter distance of heating appliances from things that can catch fire such as curtains, clothing, and furniture.

If you have a furnace, always have it maintained and inspected at least once a year to ensure safety standards.

Smoking indoors

It would be best if you don’t smoke from inside of your home, especially in the bedrooms. You may one day forget to properly put out the cigarette flame, which can cause a fire.

This could cause flame if it comes near flammable materials, such as curtains and furniture.

Electrical Equipment

Toaster, oven, refrigerator, and other electrical equipment can be faulty at times, which can cause a fire.

An overloaded power point with double adapter plugs is highly susceptible to fire. Appliances are always a fire hazard if used inappropriately.

Always double check your appliances and power points inside your home. Do not let any appliances plug unattended.


Candles are wax. They can smell and look pretty, but they are also a fire threat to the household if left lit and unattended. They can easily cause a room to burst into flames.

After using a candle, immediately blow the fire out before leaving the space.

Faulty wiring

Homes with wrong wiring can easily burst into flames because faulty wirings are an electrical hazard.

The very obvious indicator that you have faulty wiring is a power surge.

This means that there is insufficient energy supply, which causes the lights to dim when you plug in another appliance. Often you have to unplug an appliance to supply power to another appliance.

Another indicator is the short circuit. The good thing about today is fuses are automatic, which means they turn off when there is a short circuit.

Therefore when you notice that your fuse turns off by itself, seek professional help because your wires are short-circuiting.

If you are not a professional electrician, never touch the wirings. See to it that you seek help from a licensed electrician to have the wirings fixed and functioning properly.


Barbeque grills are designed for outdoor gatherings, which means they should not be stored inside your home.

Also, when cooking barbeque, get cloth or plants away from the grill to observe fire safety. 

Before using bbq grills, make sure that there are zero leaks.

Flammable Liquids

Flammable liquids such as kerosene and petrol should be stored in places far from things that might cause ignition.

Store flammable liquids in a safe place where children won’t be able to reach or play with. When using these liquids, make sure not to spill


Light fittings and lampshades can build up the heat if placed close to light globes. Roam around your house and make sure none of both is sitting next to light globes.

When knocked over, lamp bases become hazardous. Therefore it is just right to remove them.

Side note; double-check that downlights are well-insulated from ceiling timbers or wood paneling.


Now that you have read the whole article, you are ready to create your own fire.

Be careful not to hurt yourself in doing so and not to burn your house down. Also, look out for fire hazards to avoid any unwanted fires.