Why we love an open fire

Have you ever wondered what it is about a real roaring fire that humans love so much? Could it be that sitting and staring into an open fire reawakens our inner caveman? Well, it turns out that the way we feel relaxed and respond to fire has an evolutionary basis.

Studies completed at the University of Alabama concluded that when people stare at flames their blood pressure drops and we become calmer and even more sociable. It is believed that fire had the same effect on early man. Of course, fire for prehistoric peoples would have meant warmth, security, survival and a place to commune.

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The idea still remains that sitting around an open fire on a cold wintery day is blissful and calming. There is evidence that this feeling is more than just a liking for something but is deeply ingrained and has important evolutionary roots. Sitting by an open fire is good for lowering our blood pressure and helps us to feel at ease.

These feelings of calm are thought to derive from prehistoric times when sitting around a fire was a time to bond with friends and members of the tribe. To confirm this theory, modern day studies have involved people watching a video of a fire with sound effects. Measurements of their blood pressure were taken before and after and at regular intervals during the video. The results showed that the longer participants watched the fire, the more relaxed and calm they became. It was also noted that they became more sociable the longer the video was played.

Campfires, open fires and hearths provide great relaxing benefits as part of a multisensory and social experience. Our ancestors would have begun associating fire and its flickering light, smell, crackling sounds and warmth with communication, socialising and relaxation.

Of course, fire had further benefits for our survival. As well as providing heat, fire helped us to cook what we had hunted, kept predators away and provided illumination in the dark. It is no surprise then that an open fire holds such positive feelings for us. A clever way to use up waste today is to create biofuel blocks from material such as wood shavings. These blocks consist of combustible biomass and can be used for fuel or as kindling to make a fire. For more information on Briquetting Machines, visit a site like https://iwmachines.co.uk/en/products/briquetting-machines

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Here are some more reasons to consider enjoying an open fire this winter:

Cosy – The warmth and crackling create a cosy ambience that can’t be beaten.

Cheap – A well-tended fire can prove a great low-cost method of heating. Wood can be found naturally and if you’re making your own combustible briquettes, you’ll have a plentiful, cost-free supply of kindling.

No Power – Without the need for electricity, you can keep warm without adding to your energy bills and even during a power cut!


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