How to Use Fireplace Tools Properly and Safely

Nothing beats the ambiance and atmosphere that comes from a roaring fire. And while winter temperatures are still a ways off, it's good to take a refresher course in our fireplace tools and how to use them correctly and safely.

The Essential Fireplace Tools


The poker is a long, metal rod with a pointed end, sometimes featuring a hook. It's used to stoke the fire and move burning logs around. By adjusting the logs, you can increase airflow for a better burn. Make sure you always stand on the side of the fireplace when using the poker to avoid getting burned by sparks and embers that might pop out.


Tongs are used to pick up and reposition logs. Unlike the poker, which only pushes, tongs allow you to grab logs firmly and reposition them where you want. This tool also adds new logs to the fire without disturbing the existing structure. When using tongs, keep a firm grip and move slowly to maintain control and avoid accidents.

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A small, flat shovel is a must-have for removing ash and debris from the firebox. Regular cleaning is essential to keep your fireplace safe and efficient, and excessive ash can restrict airflow, leading to a fire that burns poorly. Wait until the ashes have thoroughly cooled before shoveling them out, and always use a metal container for disposal.

Brush or Broom

This tool goes hand in hand with the shovel to clean out cold ashes from the fireplace. A fireplace brush or broom typically has stiff bristles to sweep the ashes better. Gently brush the ashes into a pile and scoop them with the shovel. This keeps your fireplace clean and prevents ash from getting into the air and onto the furniture.


People don't use bellows much these days, but they're a tool designed to send a burst of oxygen into the fire to get it started quicker. Most bellows have a small valve on the end to adjust the amount of air you want to blow in.


While not a tool directly associated with interacting with the fire, it's crucial to keep the essential tools organized and always ready when needed. A neat, organized stand also adds to the aesthetic appeal of the fireplace area.

Safety Tips

Wear Protection

Use gloves to protect your hands from burns and non-flammable clothing to reduce fire risk.

Keep Tools in Good Condition

Regularly inspect the tools for damage and wear and replace them if necessary.

Use the Right Tool for the Job

Don't substitute fireplace tools with household items. Fireplace tools are designed to withstand the flames and high temperatures and ensure you can handle things safely.

Keep Children and Pets Away

Children are often fascinated by fire and don't fully understand the dangers. Educate the kids about fire and keep the tools out of their reach. Consider a screen to keep kids and pets away from the fireplace when it's in use.

Never Leave the Fire Unattended

Always extinguish the fire entirely before going to bed or leaving the house to prevent a disaster.

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Call Chimney Sweeps Inc. For Help

Call our expert team if you need help using your fireplace tools or if you need fireplace and chimney services like cleaning, inspection, repairs, or maintenance. We're the most trusted fireplace and chimney service in San Diego, CA, with over two decades of experience. Contact us today at 619-593-4020.

Expert fireplace and chimney services!

For a safer fireplace experience, trust the professionals at Chimney Sweeps Inc. We offer inspections, cleanings, repairs, installations, and more!

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