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How To Use Common Fireplace Tools

There’s nothing quite like having a wood-burning fireplace to relax in front of during a cold Connecticut evening. With that season quickly approaching us, one way to make the most of it is to use fireplace tools to maximize your experience. Of course, not everyone knows how to properly use their tools. Let’s go over the six basic tools, their purpose, and how to use them properly.

Fireplace Tools and Firewood, New Britain CTHow to use your fireplace spade or shovel

A spade or shovel is an essential fireplace tool. It’s how you remove ash or debris from your firebox. You can do this both while a fire is burning and after. Just be sure that, if you shovel ashes with an active fire, use a long-handled one so that your hands can stay away from the flames.

The right way to use your fireplace tongs

There will come a time that, while burning logs in your fireplace, you’ll want to move them around. A set of fireplace tongs is what you’ll need in this situation. A nice long pair can easily grasp the log you want to reposition from the outside, keeping yourself safe while helping your fire stay warm and vibrant.

The purpose of a fireplace broom or brush

Fireplace brooms and brushes are smaller than your standard house broom so that they can easily fit inside your firebox. After your fireplace has fully burnt itself out and the firebox has cooled off, use this fireplace tool to clean your hearth from the soot build-up on the walls and floor of your fireplace. This is not as thorough of a job as a trained Northeastern Chimney technician will do when they sweep the inside of your flue, but it does a good job for your firebox.

Do you need to use a poker?

In a word, yes. This is possibly the most used fireplace tool. It’s made of fireproof iron which helps you prod the burning wood as well as reposition logs instead of grabbing them with a set of tongs. If there’s only one tool in your fireplace arsenal, this is the one
to have.

Fireplace Bellows, Farmington CTWhat are the bellows used for exactly?

Bellows are a less common fireplace tool though we’ve probably all seen them, especially in movies set in years gone by. By squeezing your bellows, it sends a burst of oxygen into the fire. This acts as a boost for a fire that might not be catching as quickly as you’d like. You can also adjust the volume of air with the small valve on the end.

Finally, the purpose of an andiron

An andiron is a long horizontal bar or support structure that your wood sits on. It allows air to pass below the burning wood, encouraging them to burn brighter and more efficiently than otherwise.

Do you need help with how to use fireplace tools? We can help!

The next time we visit your home for a chimney sweep and inspection, be sure to ask one of our team members if you have any questions about how to use fireplace tools.


From the old-school bellows to a poker to keep the fire alive, we’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Is it time for your sweep and inspection? Then contact Northeastern Chimney by giving us a call at 860-233-5770 or by visiting our website and sending us a message here.

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