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The wood fire

Man's most faithful companion

Who doesn't know it, the fascination for the crackling, glowing and so cosy spectacle called a wood fire. Most of us always fondly remember the blissful evenings spent in front of a campfire, together with family and friends, since early childhood. It doesn't matter whether a story was told or simply listening to the soothing sound of burning logs. The memories of those cold winter days, when nothing satisfied us more than the soothing warmth of a fireplace, also shape many from an early age.

The moment when a house became a home. One wonders where this fascination comes from, which seems unbroken even in a highly modern, digitalised and fast-moving society like ours.

What exactly do we love so much about wood fires?

To answer this question, one must go far back in the history of man.

The majority of scientists believe that taking advantage of the characteristics of his environment is a fundamental factor in man's success. Through the use of tools, weapons and clothing, man quickly became superior to his natural environment.

With the use of objects, the use of fire also became paramount. Researchers have proven that early man "Homo Erectus" already learned to start fires. And that already more than a million years ago. According to one study, even food was prepared or heated by fire at that time.

As banal as it may sound, the taming of fire is a milestone in the history of man. Roasting meat made it more digestible and facilitated survival in a time when food was not abundant. Roasted meat also has a longer shelf life and contains significantly fewer parasites and germs. The resulting increase in consumption was of higher quality; animal foods were essential for the successful further development of complex body parts, such as the human brain.

Furthermore, wood fire provided the most effective protection from predators and cold. A settlement of relatively cool regions of Eurasia would not have been possible without fire.

Not to forget the fact that humans are social creatures with complex psychological needs. Exchange in the form of communication, the sharing of meals as well as mutual protection are the breeding ground for a healthy community. And it is precisely this that is strongly promoted by being together around a protective fireplace.

If we now go back to the present and look at the continuing fascination with wood fires, many of these ancient aspects can still be found in modern times. We still enjoy spending time with the family in front of the tiled stove at home. We still prepare food on the barbecue or over the campfire. No longer out of necessity, but for pleasure and pure joy. And we still feel safe and secure in the glow of a crackling fireplace.

In the course of time, fire has extended its significance to areas of our lives that only appeared in the modern age. Take, for example, the deceleration of everyday life. When the rigours of everyday life rush us from one meeting to the next, our home fireplace provides a welcome alternative.

Awareness of ecology and environmental protection is also an aspect that is omnipresent in times of climate change. In contrast to oil, gas and other fossil energy sources, wood as a CO2-neutral fuel takes on an almost romantic component in its naturalness. The forest as an alternative to the oil platform. Local wood suppliers from next door in contrast to thousands of kilometres of gas pipelines.

Without fire we would probably not be who we are today. Proof that fire has always been our most faithful companion.

Specialist tip

Heating with wood is sustainable and environmentally conscious. Therefore, it is important to maintain and service our stove systems. Replacing old heating inserts is also an important measure in the context of environmental protection.

Klaus Leihkamm, Head of craftsmen consultation & customer service

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