If you’ve just had a new solid-fuel burning fireplace installed, or you’ve just moved into a property that features an open fireplace, then you may be wondering what accessories you need. Sure, you’ll need a fuel such as wood, but what else is required? Read on to find out what accessories are essential for your fireplace.
Why do I need a set of fireside tools?
Lighting and then maintaining a wood or coal fire is quite a hands-on process. Well, not literally. That’s why it’s important to invest in a good quality set of fireside tools.
Fireside tools will allow you to handle the fire safely and with confidence.
Controlling the fire
Combustion is a process which changes over time. As the fuel burns, the characteristics of the flames will change, necessitating intervention. A good set of fireside tools will help you control the fire. For example, you can use the tools to breathe life back into a smouldering fire. Conversely, you can use tools to help dampen down a fire if it is becoming excessively large and hot.
Using tools to control the fire will also reduce the environmental impact of your fireplace. By maintaining a quiet, well-burning fire, you’ll be reducing the amount of particulate matter generated by the fire and subsequently expelled from your chimney.
Controlling the ash layer
A good set of fireside tools also play an integral role in controlling the ash layer of your fire.
The buildup of excess ash while a fire is burning can dampen the fire. The ash effectively stops air from reaching the heart of the fire, reducing the combustion of the wood or coal. By using tools to remove the excess ash, the fire can get sufficient air to maintain a good burn. It’s important however, that you don’t remove all of the ash. A thin layer of ash will insulate the fire against the cold floor, helping to maintain a better burn.
What fireplace tools are there?
There are numerous different fireplace tools available on the market, but some are more essential than others. Here at Direct Fireplaces we’d recommend as a minimum that you invest in the following tools:
- Small dustpan.
- A set of tongs.
Dustpan and brush
A dustpan and brush are essential if you want to stay on top of your fireplace maintenance. As mentioned above, a buildup of ash can prevent your fire from burning properly. Naturally, you won’t want to use a household brush to sweep up fireplace ash, so think about investing in a fireplace-specific dustpan and brush.
When tending your fire, you’ll benefit from a poker which will enable you to poke, hook and rake burning firewood. Ideally, you should buy a poker which has an insulated handle, which will protect your hands as the poker heats up. Pokers are generally made from iron to ensure they are long-lasting and fireproof.
In order to keep your fire burning quietly and efficiently, it will often be necessary to move logs around. It’s not safe to try and pick up burning wood using a poker, so that’s where a good set of quality tongs will come in handy.
Fireplace tool sets
Whilst you may want to buy your fireplace tools separately, it generally pays to buy them as a set. That way, you’ll also receive a stand which can be used to store the tools when not in use.
Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular fireplace tool sets here at Direct Fireplaces.
Gallery Collection Hook Companion Set
The Gallery Collection Hook Companion Set is a robust, well-made set of fireplace tools including a small dustpan, brush, poker and tongs. Finished in black, this set is fully functional and can be used with solid fuel fires, but can also be used for decorative purposes.
Gallery Collection Manor Companion Set
A fireplace tool set with a very traditional aesthetic, the Gallery Collection Manor tool set comes complete with a poker, brush, dustpan and tongs. All of the individual tools feature beautiful, stylish handles that’ll help keep your hands insulated from the radiated heat of the fire.
The Manor Companion Set is available in three different finishes: Black, Black/Pewter, and Black/Brass.
Gallery Collection Elipse Companion Set
Featuring a modern, 21st century look, the Gallery Collection Elipse Companion Set is available in either black or, as the image here shows, pewter. As with our other fireplace tool sets, the Gallery Collection Elipse Companion Set comes with a dustpan, brush, poker and a set of tongs.
Gallery Collection Merlin Companion Set
If you’re looking for a fireside tool set that comes with a compact, yet unusual looking stand, then the Gallery Collection Merlin Companion Set is for you. Keep the accompanying brush, dustpan, and poker tucked neatly away in the pyramidal stand.
Other fireplace accessories
The accessories that you may want to invest in aren’t restricted to fireside tool sets. In fact, there are several other essentials that you should add to your shopping list.
If you want your open fire to be as efficient and safe as possible then you should buy a fire basket. A fire basket will give you something to actually put your wood in, holding it in place as it burns.
Not only will a fire basket improve airflow to your fire, making it burn more efficiently, but a fire basket will also make your fire safer, reducing the chances of a burning log rolling out of the fire and onto your carpet or rug.
While many fire baskets are of a fairly simple design, you can also buy more sophisticated fire baskets which feature drawers that collect ash, making the disposal of ash much easier.
Below, we’ve listed some of the most popular fire baskets here at Direct Fireplaces.
Gallery Collection Cromwell Small 16 inch Fire Basket
A simple, yet elegant fire basket, the Gallery Collection Cromwell Fire Basket is ideal for smaller fireplaces and will complement both traditional and modern fire surrounds.
Gallery Collection Valencia 16 inch Fire Basket
The Valencia is a traditional style fire basket that will suit a more older style fireplace surrounds. It also features a discrete drawer for the collection and removal of ash.
Gallery Collection Matrix Fire Basket
If you’re looking for a more modern, contemporary looking fire basket, then the Gallery Collection Matrix Fire Basket fits the bill. It features a higher back than many other fire baskets, providing more support to burning logs. The integrated drawer also makes the collection and removal of ash a breeze!
The Gallery Collection Matrix is available in black or fully polished.
Carron Dorchester Cast Iron Fire Basket
For those looking to create a fireplace with a traditional Georgian-era feel, there’s the Dorchester Cast Iron Fire Basket from Carron. The Dorchester is beautifully detailed and is hand-built in Lincolnshire.
Gallery Collection Small Nexus Fire Basket
For a fire basket that looks completely different, choose the Gallery Collection Small Nexus. This is a curved fire basket which is ideal for more modern, contemporary fireplaces.
We hope you’ve found this guide to must-have fireplace accessories useful. For more fireplace information and advice, explore the rest of the Direct Fireplaces blog!
Read more fireplace advice and information on the Direct Fireplaces blog…