Stove and fireplace care and choosing the right accessories

There is nothing like an open fire or a solid fuel stove for creating a relaxing atmosphere and a warm home. Gas and electric are cleaner and more fuel efficient than an open fire or a solid fuel stove, however gas and electric may warm your home but an open fire or stove makes it cosy; it allows the right mood setting. You can sit for hours watching an open fire just chilling, complement this with a few candles, some music and you have the makings of a very romantic evening, that doesn't work so well in front of a radiator.

However the downside of using solid fuels is that you need to put some effort into running it efficiently, keeping it clean and using the right type of fuel. Having the right tools are important in getting the most out of whatever system you are using, to prevent injury and damage to yourself and your home.

Keeping your chimney Clean

Chimneys need to be kept clean to allow free passage of dangerous gases to escape and to allow air to circulate. Regular cleaning will remove soot, creosote and blockages preventing chimney fires and increase efficiency.

How often you should clean your chimney depends on a number of factors: type of fuel, how often you use your fire or stove and the type of chimney, the sweep will advise you on how often your chimney should be swept, however you should ensure that your chimney swept at least once a year as a minimum.

Fireside tools

Unfortunately most of the tool sets that are available are purely ornamental and of little use to anyone using a real fire, as these are often made from the wrong sort of metal and are usually too small and difficult to use. Most of your tools should be a minimum of 18 inches long and of good quality to prevent you from getting burnt.

It is suggested that you have:

  • · a poker
  • · a set of tongs
  • · a metal dustpan and brush
  • · an ash pan
  • · an ash bucket
  • · coal shovel
  • · a fire screen or guard

Other useful accessories

You may also want a coal scuttle and baskets or boxes for wood and kindling. If you have a stove it is advisable to use something to enable you to open the door without touching the hot handle with your hand.

Using the correct equipment and keeping you appliances and chimneys clean will prevent unnecessary accidents or injury.

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