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Tools of the trade

Top tips for getting warm and toasty

Tools of the trade

The fireplace is the heart of a home, providing warmth and comfort to you and your family. To get the most out of your fireplace, use these tools of the trade to make life easier, so you can spend more time enjoying the warmth rather than poking the fire!

Fire screen

If there is one thing that you must have when lighting indoor fires of any kind, it is a fire screen. It is a close weave metal stand that sits in front of the fire to prevent sparks from your fire from landing on your rug and potentially causing a fire. It also protects small children and family pets from getting too close to the hot fire or stove.

Fire poker

This is also known as a stoker or fire iron. This is a short, ridged rod with an insulated handle used to move coals and wood in a lit fireplace. Sometimes these pokers have a hook on one side to help roll logs on the grate. This can be a very useful tool in large fireplaces.


Well known to gardeners, a shovel is also a multi-purpose tool for tending fireplaces or stoves. Used similarly to a fireplace poker, it allows you to handle burning embers and logs. It is great for scooping up any excess ash from the hearth once the fire has died down. A flat shovel is best to get the most ash out per sweep, and it can reach to the back corners of the grate or ash pan.


Tongs, along with the shovel and fireplace poker, are used to handle the hot logs in the fireplace. Their advantage is their gripping capability, which allows you to pick up materials from the fireplace. They are often used to put wood from the stack into the fire, as they keep your hands from getting black and dirty.

Fireplace broom

The fireplace broom does exactly what it sounds like. It cleans up the ash left in the bottom of the grate once the fire has burned out.


These are used to deliver a controlled amount of pressurized air to a specific part of the fireplace to provide extra oxygen to the flames. Bellows are usually powered by hand-pumping air through a semi-enclosed chamber and out through a nozzle. These can be especially handy as an alternative to blowing flames to the hard-to-reach places of your fireplace grate. No more huffing and puffing!

Iron dogs

These are often decorative pieces, also known as an andiron. They consist of two horizontal bars that support the logs placed in the hearth and allow air to pass through them. They help the fire burn and prevent smoke buildup.

Cinders bucket

This is a small metal bucket with a handle. There are several different varieties available but they all do essentially the same thing. They are used to dispose of hot cinders (you can recycle your ash and use as fertilizer for the garden, it works especially well when placed around the base of rose bushes).


If you know of any other ‘tools of the trade’ then we would love to hear them! Please share to our Facebook page, tweet us or send us an email.


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