A clean, new fireplace looks amazing and brings to mind cozy evenings curled up by the fire with a book and hot drink. That coziness can be ruined if you feel like you can't fully use the fireplace. Whether you're replacing an old fireplace or having a completely new chimney and fireplace installed, you want to be sure you can use it right from the start. That will be easier if you're replacing an existing fireplace that you've already used. In any case, here are a few easy steps that will make the new fireplace ready to go and keep you safe while you use it.

Have the Chimney Cleaned Before the First Use

New chimneys that have just been installed will be clean, but if you're replacing the fireplace portion only, have the chimney cleaned before the work is done. The installers may have a cleaning service you can use, or you may have to call in additional service. In any case, you want the chimney cleaned first so that you can remove the old fireplace structure and test the new fireplace without the risk of fire outside the unit.

Get Fireplace Screens

The old fireplace should have had some sort of barrier — wire mesh curtains at the very least. The new fireplace should be able to fit one of a number of curtain sets or screens that will hold in sparks. Screens may be preferable to curtains as they are easier to clean and also look a lot neater. Plus, if you have pets that like to explore the house, you should get doors that they can't paw out of the way.

Learn How to Use Fireplace Tools Now

For those having a new fireplace and chimney added on who may not have used one before, take time to learn about the tools needed to make the fire burn as it should. You may have seen arrays of tools before or seen someone poke at the fire with one of them, but you should learn about each one so that you know which one to grab. For example, tongs and spades allow you to move the burning logs and hot ashes without touching them. If you find you've stacked the wood incorrectly and the flames are a little too close to the front of the fireplace for comfort, you can grab these tools and move the wood around, rather than waiting for the fire to die down.

When you meet with the fireplace installers, they can show you the options for curtains and screens, as well as show you which tools and tool packages are available. Fireplaces are meant to last a long time, so choose those options that will keep it functioning well all those years. Contact a fireplace installation company for more information.