Fireplace Damper Clamps

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Last Updated: May 4, 2021

Damper clamps are very inexpensive and are easily installed. Most hardware stores, home improvement centers, and fireplace shops carry damper clamps.

Damper Clamps are for Safety

Fireplaces that have gas log sets or gas log lighters are now days normally required to have a damper clamp installed. The reason for this is that if the damper is closed and there is a gas leak, then the gas may not be able to travel up the flue and end up spreading into the room where the fireplaces is. Once this gas comes in contact with an ignition source, then a fire or explosion may occur.

Also, under some circumstances, having a properly installed damper clamp will prevent carbon monoxide from a pilot light or other sources, from exiting into the room where the fireplace is located; carbon monoxide is a poisonous and odorless gas.

Remember that some fireplaces can be lit by simply flipping a switch on a wall. Should a child flip the switch and the damper was not properly open, then the room might start to fill up with smoke and carbon monoxide.

Fireplace manufactures recommendation for installation

Checking a fireplace manufactures recommendations on their installation requirements is wise; also consulting a fireplace contractor or professional chimney sweep can provide information for site-built fireplaces. Often it is recommended to install the damper clamp so that the damper is in a fully open position. Homeowners are often concerned that a fully opened damper will allow excessive cold air to enter the fireplace when the fireplace is not in use. Therefore, many homeowners and some professionals will install the clamp so that there is only a small gap, rather than a fully open damper.

Keep The Damper Fully Open When Burning a Fire

Remember that when using the fireplace, it is important to have the damper in a fully open position. If the clamp is not in the open position then the fireplace will not draft properly and you may get smoke rolling out of the front of the fireplace and staining the wall and ceiling areas with smoke stains.

If there is smoke on the face or front of the fireplace, check these 3 things

Naturally, check to see if the damper is closed and that it is operating properly. If it is ok then there are several other things that you should check next. Check for obstructions in the chimney, burping, and negative air pressure. Read more on checking these


Rectangular and circle shape dampers

Note that there are basically two types of damper shapes. One type is round or square shaped and found in manufactures’ fireplaces. The other is a rectangular metal blade, found in site built brick, stone, or masonry fireplaces. The clamps work easily on both types.

Where is the Damper?

The damper can be found at the top inside area of the fireplace box. To find the damper, just get down on your knees and look up inside the front of the firebox. Don’t forget to wear safety glasses and make sure there is no fire burning  ☺.

Who Can Add a Damper Clamp?

Homeowners will often add a damper themselves. Fireplace companies, as well as some chimney sweeps and handymen, will also do this type of work. However, it is generally the homeowner or buyer who does the work. Normally it can be done in less than five minutes.

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hello there, the piece on my damper has broken off, this is where the rod is connected to it, although I can use the poker to open it up, can this be replaced or fixed, look forward to your reply, many thanks Rose


the local gas/electric company has notified us that we need a damper lock due to gas log fireplace. We were told that we needed the model with a long lag bolt due to the type of construction. The one pictured looks like a short one. Are there any other options available?


Great article. I have a question about damper operation on a vented gas fireplace – I understand the damper must be fully open when burning the fire, but do I need the damper open when only the pilot light is on? This is a significant source of heat loss in my home, and I’d like to keep the damper closed when just the pilot light is on if deemed safe. Thanks!

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