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Your Fireplace: Is It Ready for Santa's Visit?

By Susan Penney

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 at this time of year, you want your fireplace to look its 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 them, 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 you need!

About The Author

Susan Penney appreciates simple ways to make our homes renewing spaces for our families. She invites you to visit http://www.fireplacemall.com for fireplace accessories to serve your fire-less or your fire-filled fireplace.

© 2005, PennVentures LLC; reprint permission granted

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