When you hang those stockings from the mantel, you're calling even more attention than usual to the natural focal point of your room,
the fireplace. Especially during the winter holidays, you want your fireplace and fireplace accessories to look their best. Here's a quick fireplace checklist to help
you prepare your hearth for the Christmas season:
Fireplace Tools How do they look? Are the handles secure and safe? Do they just need cleaning or are
they rusting? If the time has come to replace your fireplace tools, you might be quite pleased with the range of styles now available!
Fireplace Screen Is
your fireplace screen still attractive and functional? If you are tired of having to move the screen each time you tend your fire, consider getting a new fireplace screen
with access doors. They are available in both three-panel screens and in single-panel screens. Searching for the newest look in fireplace screens? Consider a flat,
single panel screen. They fit up against your fireplace and instantly update the look of your hearth.
Firewood Holder Is your log holder serving you or
are you serving it? If you have to sweep up bits of bark each time you bring in a load of firewood, you might want to consider a style that allows a tidier hearth. Some
log holders have space for both kindling and firewood and are great for keeping the hearth neat and tidy.
Fireplace Grate The iron in fireplace grates is
constantly being oxidized by the heat of your fire. That explains why the grate in your fireplace, after a few years of use, may have significant rusting. A grate that's
losing its integrity can be unsafe if it fails and drops its burning logs.
Also, check that your fireplace grate is the appropriate size for your fireplace. If you
have a medium or larger fireplace, you don't have to settle for a small grate that you have to refill frequently with logs. A grate better sized to your fireplace will serve
you more efficiently.
Fireback "What's a fireback?"
you may ask. A fireback is a traditional fireplace accessory that is returning to hearths as fuel costs rise. Made of either cast iron or stainless steel, a fireback
leans against the back wall of your fireplace or sits there in braces. Its purpose is to radiate the heat of your fire into your room, thereby giving you more warmth for the
same amount of wood or gas. The cast iron firebacks, available with classical or modern motifs, have a decorative as well as functional aspect. If you don't yet have a
fireback, this might be the winter to add one to your hearth.
Who knows, this Christmas maybe Santa or one of his helpers will bring you the new fireplace accessories