Perhaps the most essential fireplace tool for safety is a screen, even if the fireplace is equipped with glass doors. These retain heat and become extremely hot, so the screen functions in this case to prevent burns. In front of wood burning fireplaces, they keep sparks from flying into the room, dangerous in themselves and fire starters.
Another important safety tool is a fireplace grate or rack to build the fire on, providing more stability for the wood. A grate helps to prevent wood from falling off the pile and rolling out of the fireplace. It also concentrates the ash buildup in a small area for easy cleanup, which is essential to fireplace safety.
In this way, all fireplace tools play their part in contributing to fire safety, from the cast iron poker to the shovel and brush. They facilitate keeping the fireplace clean, which makes it easier to spot fallen debris, flaking flue tiles and bricks, and water. Early awareness of the problems these indicate means a safer and more efficient chimney.
The poker is perhaps the most essential of the fireplace tools always included in sets that may include a small shovel and brush. It is the tool which allows fire tenders to move and rearrange logs and other wood on the fire without coming too close to it. It also allows for the safe breaking up of burnt wood so that hot coals can be evenly scattered for a better controlled fire.
Extending safety concerns beyond the fireplace and into the room, fire retardant carpet rugs should be chosen for the area around the fireplace. This will make fire unlikely even when embers escape the hearth and is a good precaution. Attention to this detail combined with having the right tools on hand and using them regularly are the keys to hearth safety.