Fireplace Damper Hooks
A fireplace damper hook is a short metal rod, perhaps 10 to 13 inches long. On one end, it has a handle and on the other, as its name implies, it has a hook. The hook is used to catch the ring of the damper and pull it open or push it closed.
Your traditional fireplace tool set doesn't come with a damper hook. That's a shame. The one thing you're sure to need to do each and every time you start a fire is open the damper so the smoke can escape and a draft can be created. If you have a gas log in your fireplace, you won't need the poker, the tongs, the shovel, or the brush. But you will still need to open and close the damper.
Without a damper hook, this can be a messy affair. Reaching up into a dark, sooty fireplace can end you up with soot on your sleeve or forearm, or even your shoulder no matter how careful you are. A damper hook is an ideal solution to this problem.
Besides being functional, a well made damper hook can add a touch of class to the look of your hearth. Depending on your fireplace tool set, the damper hook may even be able to hang with the other tools. Or it can sit on the opposite side of the fireplace to round out the effect. But for most fireplace owners, the ideal storage place is simple. Hang it from the damper ring when there isn't a fire in the fireplace. The hanging damper hook will serve as a visible reminder to you that the damper is closed and needs to be opened before you build a fire. It will also serve as a visible confirmation that you did indeed remember to close the damper after the last fire and you aren't sending your home's hard-earned heat out the chimney.
For a decorative look, you can't go wrong with solid, polished brass. A brass damper hook will simply gleam with very little maintenance. In fact, it can be polished with a wet rag and just a bit of the ash you have in the nearby fireplace.
A brass damper hook can come with a simple, functional handle or something more ornate. The handle can be a hand-size brass ball or it can look like a miniature bedpost. You can get a damper hook with a duck or an eagle at the handle end. You can even get a solid brass angel complete with spreading wings.
For a more rustic look, you can go with a simple wrought iron damper hook. At the handle end, the rod is bent back upon itself to provide a place for you to grip. At the other end, it curves elegantly but simply into the hook that will open and close the damper. The look of a wrought iron damper hook can call up images of life on the prairie or the ranch.
If you don't want quite as much flash as brass or quite as much country as wrought iron, you can also get a damper hook in pewter. This will give an understated, sturdy elegance to your fireplace theme.
You can get a damper hook that has the words "Damper Closed" actually engraved on the handle to remind you why the hook is hanging there. And finally, you can get damper hooks with 5/16" and 1/4" valve keys at the handle end for added versatility.