The beautiful new fireplace you’ve planned in your new log home will need some accessories to make it safe, attractive and efficient. We’ve taken a look at a wide range of accessories to make your fireplace safe and the center of attention.
Fireplace screens provide protection from errant sparks and coals. They can also provide an attractive focal point in a room. You’ll want to consider looks as a major factor, but also consider how heavy the screen is, whether it can provide sufficient protection based on the opening dimensions of your fireplace, and whether you anticipate children or pets which might need more safety than good looks.
One option for decorative screens is stained glass, which takes advantage of firelight to provide warmth and color in a room. One great source for these stained glass screens is FireplaceScreens Etc. whose selections display a variety of designs, from traditional art deco Tiffany flowers (left) to angular Frank Lloyd Wright prairie style (right).
If the style in the surrounding room is more traditional, you may opt for a clean, simple style. Many companies even offer matched fireplace sets that include a screen, wood holder and fireplace tools. Plow and Hearth displays a cleanly designed Portfolio Hearth Center (below right) that includes screen, tool set, and wood holder with a clean, geometric design. Another much plainer screen designed to protect children and pets is also available.
Selecting a tool set should reference both looks and functionality. The tools should include a well-formed shovel with deep sides, a poker with a right-angle hook for positioning logs in the hearth, and a broom for sweeping up ash. Some tool sets feature a natural style, whisk-like broom, but if you’re keen on keeping your hearth neat, look for a full, stiff fiber broom with a blunt, flat edge to sweep up ashes. A metal dustpan is also a good idea, though the fireplace shovel can substitute in a pinch.
If you’re serious about enjoying your fireplace or wood stove on a regular basis, you’ll burn a lot of wood. A wood holder keeps the wood organized and stacked on the hearth. If you plan on a double duty carrier and storage unit you’ll want to make sure that the empty carrier is lightweight enough for the least strong person to pick it up and carry it loaded with wood. If you’re using a canvas carrier to transport wood in, then your holder can be more sturdy. Opt for a wood holder with an open top, and it’ll be easier to unload and load wood neatly without a handle to maneuver around.
A good metal canister is absolutely essential for safe fires. While the safest bet is to allow the fire to die out completely in the firebox or hearth, intermittent ash cleaning will still have live embers. These need to be placed in a tight metal container with a good bucket-style handle and lid. Once deposited, the ash should be moved outside, away from any flammable materials until the ashes have completely extinguished. Ashes are an excellent fertilizer for lawns and garden areas, so they can be spread evenly as the winter progresses.
Surfaces can get hot and sometimes you need to manually adjust or replace a log in the fireplace. For this you’ll need some gloves. Ideally the gloves should be leather and felt insulated with long cuffs. These Minuteman red hearth gloves are easy to spot and a good protective accessory. Good leather work gloves can also fill in but any gloves made of synthetic materials should be avoided around the hearth.
Hearth rugs can protect the area immediately in front of the hearth from stray coals embers or just day-to-day sawdust and ashes from the fireplace. They can be semicircular or rectangular and should extend a few inches beyond the width of the fireplace opening for the best coverage. These carpets can be made of 100% wool, which has a low flammability or other materials specifically designed for flammability safety. This half round Minuteman rug adds a decorative flair to its functionality.