23 Jan 2020 Accessorising your fireplace safely
Your fireplace is the heart of your home. Well-chosen fireplace accessories combine function with aesthetics, allowing you to maximise your enjoyment of your fireplace while keeping you and your family safe. With just a few carefully chosen accessories, you’ll be all set for cosy winter evenings with crackling logs and a cup of hot chocolate.
What are fireplace accessories for?
You’ve got your new fireplace installed and you’re ready to get the fire started. Before you do, let’s take a look at fireplace accessories and what they’re used for.
Fireplace accessories generally have three functions:
- Manage your fire in a pleasant and safe manner
- Make your fire more environmentally-friendly
- Enhance the natural beauty of your fireplace
What fireplace accessories do you need?
Logs, kindling and matches
Make sure you choose logs that are seasoned, with the moisture content reduced to at least 25%. The lower the moisture content, the better the wood will burn. Too much moisture will result in your fire producing steam rather than heat.
For kindling, the best types are small, dry sticks that are made from softwoods like pine, fir and cedar.
Matches should be extra long to ensure you don’t burn yourself when you light your fire.
Log baskets are the best place to keep your firewood, and are designed to sit stylishly beside your fireplace. You have the option of many materials including metal, willow, rattan, felt and leather.
There’s nothing that compares to nestling up to a warm fire, but you’ll want to have the peace of mind that you and your loved ones stay safe.
Fire guards are a safe and secure solution for keeping infants or pets safe around a fire by ensuring they never come into contact with burning flames or hot logs. Fire guards are sturdy, strong and heat resistant and can be screwed in place for maximum safety.
The fireplace grate is the component upon which the wood is burnt. The grate sits above the ash pan and has lateral bars on which the wood can sit while allowing the ash to fall below. This ensures the clean air flow required for a healthy fire. Fire grates that hold the wood against the back wall will maximise the output of your fire and minimise unwanted smoke.
As your fire burns, you’ll need to have a way to get rid of all the ashes that build up inside your firebox. A metal ash bucket can collect the ash to be disposed. Be careful where you discard your ashes – they may still be burning and could start a fire. The safest options include putting them in an ash pile or a metal container outside.
Fireplace tools help you to control your fire. This means that if your fire is too small, you can make it bigger, and if your fire is too big, you can make it smaller. Being able to control your fire is critical to fire safety.
Good fireplace tools are designed to help you control your fire. In addition, they are often beautifully made, displaying fine craftsmanship that can enhance the look of your fireplace.
A fireplace toolkit should include:
- A set of bellows to kickstart the fire
- A poker to adjust log positions
- A set of tongs to move large hot logs
- A shovel to scoop out ashes
- A brush to sweep away ashes