Which Fireplace Accessories Do You Need?
Beyond these basics, there are andirons, firebacks, glass fireplace doors, bellows, fire starters, fireplace candelabra, smoke guards, ash buckets, safety gloves, outdoor log racks, ash vacuum cleaners, and outdoor fireplaces. A special fireplace accessory, called a hearth center, combines an indoor log holder with a set of fireplace tools. Let’s consider some of the ways fireplace accessories are used.
The Classic Copper Treasures Collection by Jatex of copper firewood holders, cauldrons, buckets, ash buckets and screens is hand-crafted of exceptionally heavy copper in Turkey.
Fireplace Accessories for Setting a Fire
To ignite and burn properly, a fire needs to have air entering the fireplace, under the firewood, to replace the warm air that is going up the chimney. An easy way to elevate your firewood is to place one of the basic fireplace accessories, a grate, in your fireplace. If you choose a grate, you can put decorative andirons (those with short 4″-6″rails in back) in front of the grate. Andirons with long 12″-19″ rails can take the place of a grate because they provide an elevated place to put your firewood.
Just ball up some newspaper (not pages with color photos or art work) and push it under your grate or andirons. Put some kindling or a fire starter like fatwood on top of the grate and light your fire. Bellows have been used for centuries to provide additional oxygen for bringing coals to a vigorous flame. When the kindling is burning nicely add firewood, a piece at a time.
Fireplace Accessories for Managing a Fire
As your fire consumes firewood, you’ll want to add more. The tongs from your fireplace tool set are great for moving firewood into the fireplace and putting it exactly where you want it. Possibly the handiest of accessories, the poker, can push or pull firewood into place. The shovel from your tool set is useful for pushing hot coals together for maximum warmth.
Fireplace Accessories for Containing a Fire
Burning firewood, especially maple and wild cherry, can pop burning coals out of the fireplace onto your carpet, where they may start a fire or at least leave a charred area on your carpet. One of the basic fireplace accessories, a fireplace screen, prevents this problem. A screen must be in place whenever no one is watching the fire.
Glass fireplace doors serve the same purpose as fireplace screens. Most models have mesh screens that slide on a track so the fire remains contained even if the glass doors are open.
Enjoying the Fire
You’ve kept your firewood dry and well ventilated by using a covered outdoor log rack. Now you’ll want to bring an evening’s supply of firewood into the house and put it in a log holder that’s handy to the fireplace.
A cast iron fireback can store heat from the fire and radiate it back into the room for extra warmth. A stainless steel fireback, especially one with a mirror finish, can reflect heat back into the room, but will not store heat.
For fun, you can toss Magic Color Pine Cones into your fire to make the flames turn different colors.
Every home should have a smoke detector with a carbon monoxide alarm. This inexpensive device can give early warning that a fire has started somewhere in the home. Carbon monoxide from a stopped up flue or defective heating system is a quiet killer. People who inhale odorless, colorless carbon monoxide go to sleep and never wake up unless someone discovers them and intervenes.
A child and pet safety screen can keep little ones with or without fur away from the fireplace screen or glass doors, both of which can become quite hot.
Leather fireplace gloves protect your hands from splinters while handling firewood and from burns when adjusting firewood in the fireplace.
After the Fire
When the fire is completely cool, it’s a good idea to remove the burnt ash, using the shovel from your fireplace tool set and placing the ashes into an ash bucket. Your Cricket Ash Vac can remove those final traces of ash.
When the fire is out for the season, a lovely fireplace candelabra keeps your fireplace a visually interesting through the spring and summer months.
Getting Ready for Next Fireplace Season
Buy your firewood in early spring and stack it in your outdoor log rack. If you burn a lot of firewood, consider an electrically powered 4 ton or 7 ton wood splitter.