Now that the nights are growing longer and colder, ’tis the season to sit by the fire with your family or entertain guests in front of your fireplace’s warm glow.
Of course, if you’ve recently installed a new fireplace, it may also be the season to realize you aren’t yet equipped for a fire!
The right fireplace tools can make a huge difference as you work to control, maintain, and clean up your fire. Though you may not need all of the tools below, our roundup may help you decide which accessories best suit your gas or wood fireplace. Read on to learn more.
A good fireplace poker, also called a “stoker,” is invaluable for tending to a wood fire. These tools are simple rods, often with a slight hook on one end.
Pokers allow you to rake and push your firewood as it burns, which can help you stoke and control the fire. Shifting the wood in this way can ensure that more oxygen reaches it for a stronger burn.
Though older fireplace pokers used to come as a single rod of iron, you can find a wide variety of modern styles available today. When seeking a fireplace poker, we don’t recommend straying far from the traditional iron rod, though you might want to look for an insulated handle, especially in shorter pokers.
It’s also important to make sure you’re buying a poker that can handle the size of your fireplace: deeper fireplaces warrant a longer rod that can reach the wood to the back of it.
While your fireplace poker can help you to stir and rearrange smaller logs, tongs are crucial when you need to move larger burning logs.
As with the poker, make sure you’re choosing a set of tongs long enough to extend into the depths of your fireplace. Steel or wrought iron tongs are often ideal for their heat resistance, but other metals and decorative finishes can work provided they have some amount of insulation.
Also called a fireplace “spade” due to its small size, these shovels can help you keep your fireplace neat once part or all of your fire has burned down to ash.
As you clear away the ash, note that it’s a good idea to leave a small, one-inch layer of ash on the floor of your fireplace. This layer acts as insulation when your fire burns, and a warmer fireplace makes it easier for your fire to ignite.
One extra note: ash buckets are useful tools to pair with a fireplace shovel, but they aren’t always necessary. You can scoop your fireplace’s cooled ashes into any metal bucket, though you should follow the Chimney Safety Institute of America’s instructions by treating the ashes as hot and dousing them with water. Unless you like the look or convenience of a metal fireplace bucket, you can skip these additional tools.
Like your shovel, a fireplace broom offers a handy way to clean inside of your fireplace once your fire has burnt itself out. Brooms can help you remove some of the sooty buildup on the floor, but it’s also helpful for removing some of the ashes and soot from the walls and sides of your fireplace as well.
Fireplace Blow Poke
This optional tool has a lot in common with your standard fireplace poker, with one key difference. Blow pokes are hollow inside, allowing them to act like a traditional fireplace bellows.
The long metal tube of the blow poke allows the user to blow through a small mouthpiece at the base of the handle. This can allow you to inject some much-needed oxygen into a dwindling fire. It can also help you ignite new logs.
Some blow pokes double as a fireplace poker, complete with a curved end, allowing you to grab a multi-use tool.
If your fireplace has a wide mouth, a fireplace screen can become invaluable fast. These screens allow you to guard your home and belongings from stray sparks that pop out of an active fire. It can also protect any pets, people, and children who have wandered close to the fire for warmth!
If you choose a larger fireplace screen, make sure to find one with the ability to fold, allowing you to store it away when not in use.
Once you’ve gotten your hands on the tools above, you’ll need someplace to store them. If you’ve chosen a matching set, it may come with its own storage option. However, if you’ve opted to pick up special or antique tools one by one, you may need to decide how to keep them handy beside your fireplace.
Firewood baskets or buckets are easy ways to store your long tools upright beside the fire. If you have smaller tools, a hanging rack with an array of hooks can keep them close but out of the way.
One additional option is a traditional upright stand, which includes a vertical bar that rises from a flat base. A holder atop the vertical bar allows you to place your tools upright inside of the stand, keeping them from falling.
Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to seek out one of these essential carrying tools! Log holders make it easy to replace logs as they burn, especially when you need to carry your firewood in from the cold. Make sure to choose a sturdy but heat-resistant material like waxed canvas.
Get the Right Fireplace Tools for the Job
Once you’ve installed the right fireplace for your interior, it’s time to make sure you have all of the accessories you need to make every fire safe and comfortable for your household. The tools we’ve listed above can help you start, control, and clean up a fire with ease, no matter what type of fireplace you’ve chosen.
Still waiting for the perfect fireplace? If you’re ready to create the custom wood, gas, or electric fireplace you’ve always wanted, Dreifuss Fireplaces is here to help. To learn what we can do for you, check out our gallery or contact us with questions.