Every successful mechanic has tools to make his job easier. Every successful doctor has tools to help the sick and injured. Every successful airline pilot uses gauges and tools to provide safe flying conditions to those aboard his aircraft. Every job or other activity that we pursue likely has a set of tools that will make that activity more fun, more interactive, or easier. Fireplace ownership is no different. There is a specific set of tools that every homeowner should have if they have a fireplace and use it.
- Andiron: This is the horizontal bar or set of bars that lifts the wood off of the flat surface. Some fireplaces have a built-in andiron but not all. The andiron allows the wood to be stacked in such a way to let the fire and air pass through. This creates less smoldering smoke and more heat-producing crackling flames.
- Poker: This is specifically designed to allow you to work with burning wood without risking self injury. It has a pointed end and a hook just a few inches from the pointed end. It allows you to hook, rake, or push red hot materials without getting burned.
- Tongs: These give you more control over burning logs that need to be moved. Tongs allow you to pick up logs within the fireplace and turn them or move them without getting burned.
- Bellows: Air is one of the major components of a successful fire. A bellows allows you to deliver a specific amount of controlled air flow to an area of the fire. This allows you to provide more oxygen to a specific area if it is burning more slowly than other areas.
- Spade: This tiny shovel is used to move logs or embers without getting burned. You may use the spade to get burned-out embers and ash out of the firebox so the fire can continue to burn effectively.
- Broom: Like any other broom, this one is used to clean. Only use the fireplace broom after the fire is completely out or you risk spreading hot embers out into the room or on your skin or clothing.
Many homeowners go to the local hardware store to purchase a run of the mill fireplace tool set. These sets usually contain all six of the tools we mentioned above and give you a good starting point. You may choose to buy higher quality tools over time. The average tool set is good and will serve the purpose but they aren’t exactly a decorative piece for the fireplace. Nice looking sets are available if you’re looking for a way to spruce up the area while providing functionality as well.
Call us at 610-626-2439 when you’re ready to schedule your annual chimney inspection and cleaning. One of our CSIA Certified chimney sweeps will be glad to assist with all of your chimney needs.