Screens Fireplace

Fireplace Screen Safety

Although a fireplace screen is primarily a safety device, that doesn't mean that you don't have to take care in properly using it. To avoid careless mistakes of use that can lead to personal injury or harm to your property keep these basic ideas in mind...

Metal Fireplace Screen Safety

Metal screens may heat up when exposed to a fire for long periods of time. This is especially true when flame or hot ash come into actual contact with the metal for any length of time. Touching a hot metal screen in such an instance may lead to substantial pain, or worse still, burns. In general use, metal firescreens can be touched with bare hands while a fire is burning in the fireplace, but be wary that the potential for the screen to become hot enough to burn is very real. If you're ever in any doubt as to how hot a screen is, place your hand near to it (but not touching) so you can feel any heat it might be generating. You should be able to tell whether it's safe to touch by doing so.

In addition to your physical safety (and the safety of family and friends), there is also the potential for a hot metal screen to damage your floors or furniture. If a screen gets especially hot and is then moved so that it touches hardwood or carpeted floor, it can potentially leave scorch marks. Likewise, a hot screen can burn furniture or curtains if it's placed in contact with them. Always carefully consider where you are placing the screen when moving it in order to access your fire. If you have brick or stone flooring in front of the fireplace, keep it on that if possible.

Wooden Fireplace Screens

It's been said repeatedly on this site, but it bears repeating again here: do not place a wooden firescreen in front of a fire. Wooden screens are really just for decoration these days and should not be placed in proximity to open flame due to wood's highly flammable nature.

Glass Fireplace Screen Safety

Glass fireplace screens are usually sturdily constructed, but like all glass things, these screens can break if treated too roughly. Be careful when moving glass screens so that they don't fall over and crack or shatter. Also, excessive heat has the potential to crack glass. Any glass screen meant for real use and of good quality will be made with tempered glass that's resistant to heat, but even then, that's no guarantee the glass won't crack. Glass that is in close proximity to flame for extended periods can also get hot to the touch. It's generally a good idea to keep glass screens a moderate distance from flames so that the two don't come into contact.

General

It may seem obvious, but it also bears saying that when placing a fireplace screen in front of a fireplace opening, you should always be aware of whether you've placed it correctly. That is to say that the screen extends slightly beyond the left and right edges of the opening, and above the top edge if the screen is designed to do so. If you leave any gaps, there's a reasonable chance that sparks and flying embers will escape and cause damage.

Keep these general safety ideas in mind when using your screen. Being aware of them will make your use of your screen, and your fireplace, all the more safe.