A fireplace is a welcome addition to any home. As a source of heat and ambiance, a fireplace is a great gathering spot for festive occasions, relaxation, and making lasting memories.
Fireplaces have the potential to be dangerous if not used properly. Having the right tools and using the right techniques is important when using your hearth. There are more working parts to a fireplace than you might think.
But don’t worry. A few short minutes from now you will be an expert at using a fireplace.
1 Tools for Using Your Fireplace
There are some specialized tools you can use with your fireplace. They may be next to your hearth right now. You can also buy them from most hardware stores. All of these tools and parts will be discussed in the next section.
Some of these items include:
Additional items you should have in your home:
- Smoke detector
- Carbon monoxide detector
- heat resistant gloves
- Fire extinguisher
- Ash bucket
- Bucket of sand
Parts of your fireplace to familiarize yourself with are:
2 Instructions for Using Your Fireplace
Now that you’ve seen a list of all the necessary items for using your fireplace, let’s discuss how to use them.
2.1 Step 1: Perform a quick safety check
- Use a flashlight to look inside the hearth to locate your damper. The damper is used to open and close a passage in the chimney to let the smoke out.
- Find the handle for the damper and open it if necessary.
- If the fireplace looks dirty you should clean it before your using it.
- If you have a screen, verify it closes correctly or fits across the opening of the fireplace.
- Check your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors to verify they’re in good working order.
- Verify your fire extinguisher is fully charged.
- Check for sand in your sand bucket.
- You should have your chimney inspected before using your fireplace.
2.2 Step 2: Locate your tools and place them within easy reach of the fireplace
- Many hardware stores sell kits that include a poker, tongs, broom, and fireplace shovel. They’re usually made from a strong heat resistant material, such as iron.
- Use the poker and tongs to push and grasp burning material.
- The broom and shovel are used to clean your hearth, and to help dispose of waste.
- An ash bucket can be used to hold coals and ash.
2.3 Step 3: Other useful items for your fireplace
- It’s helpful to have a grate in your fireplace. The grate holds logs and other burning materials in the fireplace.
- The fender is a low barrier in front of the hearth that stops burning material if it accidentally rolls out of the fireplace.
2.4 Step 4: Your first fire
- Place crumpled newspaper and small pieces of kindling atop the fireplace grate.
- Stack additional pieces of larger kindling on top. Don’t mash the paper and kindling together. You need air to flow between the wood and paper to make the fire burn well.
- If you verified your damper is open you may light the fire.
- Add larger pieces of wood to the fire when it starts to burn well and gets hotter. Use your gloves, poker, and tongs to position the wood in the best location for optimal burning.
2.5 Step 5: Putting out your fire
- When you no longer plan to use the fire in your fireplace it’s a good idea to put it out. Unattended fires are a safety hazard.
- Use your shovel to put sand on the burning embers. Don’t use water unless you have no other option.
- Water will create a foul-smelling smoke and make your fireplace very dirty.
- Close the fireplace screen.
2.6 Step 6: Cleaning
- Do not clean your fireplace unless 48 hours have passed since your last fire.
- The National Fire Protection Association suggests cleaning a hearth annually. More often is better.
- At the very minimum, you should remove as much ash, sand, and other debris as possible. Use your broom, shovel, tongs, and ash bucket to transfer the waste for proper disposal.
What Tools are Needed for Using Your Fireplace?
To use a fireplace you will need a fireplace screen, poker, small broom and shovel, grate, and tongs. Additional items you should have are a smoke detector, heat resistant gloves, and ash bucket.
How to Perform a Quick Safety Check Before Starting a Fire in your Fireplace?
First of all, you need to check if the damper is opened. If the fireplace looks dirty you should clean it first. Next, check your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors.
What grates can help you within your Fireplace?
The grate in your fireplace holds logs and other burning materials. They will improve the air flow, too.
4 In Conclusion
I hope you enjoyed your first fire. Wasn’t it a lovely experience?
If you followed these step-by-step directions everything should have worked out very well.
You will gain more confidence with each fire you light in your fireplace. You may even develop some shortcuts or advice to share with others. Please leave any questions, comments, or suggestions if you like.
I thoroughly enjoyed guiding you through the process of using a fireplace. Please share this nifty tutorial with your friends if you like.