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Fireplace Screens - A Practical and Beautiful Addition To Your Home
There once was a time when the fireplace was the primary source of heat in most American homes. For those that could not afford a word-burning stove, the fireplace also served as the primary cooking area. Of course we no longer turn to the fireplace to serve such functions today. Electric or gas powered stoves and sophisticated heating systems have made the fireplace more of a luxury today rather than a necessity. The contemporary fireplace serves more of a decorative function but none of us can deny that we do love the comforting warmth on those cold winter nights. Adding to the decorative element of the modern hearth is the fireplace screen. Made in an endless variety of styles, materials, and sizes, fireplace screens provide more than just a wonderful accent, however. Fireplace screens also serve to make the entire experience more pleasurable for those huddling around the flames in a variety of ways.
Fireplace Screen Benefits
Fireplace screens have actually not been around that long when compared to the history of the fireplace itself. Invented in the 18th century, fireplace screens soon became an indispensable accessory. Prior to this point in history, homes would fill with smoke and ash making the fireplace more of a nuisance than any kind of decorative focal point. A wonderful advantage of the fireplace screen is that it completely separates the fireplace from the rest of the house so that the smoke and the ashes stay where they belong and the house stays cleaner and the air purer. Fireplace screens also shield people from the full intensity of the heat and make those romantic fireside chats possible. For those people with adventurous pets that just love to make a mess, a fireplace screen becomes an indispensable asset in the quest to keep your home clean and your furry friends safe. Finally, a fireplace screen is a safety essential as they help to protect your home and family from flying embers.
Types of Fireplace Screens
Fireplace screens come in two basic varieties: folding and single screen. Folding screens are sold as 3, 4, or 5 panel units. People tend to like the folding fireplace screens because they are adjustable. The 3 panel units are generally preferred as they do not block the view of the fire with any hinges. Of course, some fireplaces are simply too large and require a 4 or 5-panel screen.
Some people refer to the single screens as "spark arresters" because they afford better protection against runaway sparks. These screens fit snugly against your fireplace opening and are also superior when preventing the family cat from having a romp in the fireplace. One of the only disadvantages to this design is that a person must remove the entire screen in order to make adjustments to the fire.
Most fireplace screens are made with metals such as coated mild steel, wrought iron or solid brass making them a classic accent to any room. Some fireplace screens are even made with stained glass but most of these are decorative and not meant to be used in the same manner as the other, more practical, varieties. But no matter your taste or décor, rest assured that there is a fireplace screen out there that will add a distinctive style to your fireplace and make the entire experience more pleasurable.
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