So Many Choices
Part of what makes a fireplace so beautiful is the accessories which go with it. You can purchase tools which make it easier to stoke the fire, tools which make it easier to add wood when the fire is blazing, even tools which can add oxygen and make it burn hotter. Fireplace screens act as a shield to prevent damage to the room that your fireplace is in.
A fireplace screen is made up of a metal frame that holds metal mesh or screening. You may notice that a screen is normally only used with wood burning fireplaces. Other types of fireplaces, such as pellet stoves or natural gas fireplaces use fire doors or other screening methods. They do not depend as heavily on a fireplace screen to keep embers and sparks in where they will not cause any damage.
You should look for a few specific features in any fireplace screen you use. The first is that you want air to be able to pass through the screen so that the fire can get the oxygen it needs to breathe. Fires require air to keep them going, and a fireplace screen can help promote the proper flow of air through the fireplace and into the fire. You need to look for a fireplace screen that is made of mesh or screening rather than a solid panel.
You can pick different shapes and styles of the fireplace screen. The style you pick has more to do with personal preference than with how the screen functions. A three-panel screen is most common. It has two legs or side screens that hold up a larger central screen.
There are fireplace screens with more than three panels. A four-panel screen is the same basic shape as a three-panel screen, but has had the front panel divided up into two smaller panels. There are five or even six-paneled screens. There are even fan-shaped screens where there are six or more panels forming the fan, which sits on a base in front of the fireplace. A good fireplace screen is not so heavily decorated that you cannot see the fire behind it.
A fireplace screen should also provide a convenient way to access the fire that is burning. You want to make sure that you can draw the screen aside to poke or prod the fire, or you should be able to move part of the screen easily. You need to keep in mind that if the screen is made of metal (which most of them are), it may tend to get quite warm because it is exposed to the heat of the fire for long periods of time.
Fireplace screens are sold in most fireplace stores. This can be a great way to make sure you have a screen which fits properly and can block the entire front of the fireplace. You can also purchase screens in home decorating stores, or have one custom built. There are also many websites dedicated to selling fireplace screens, and some of these can be an excellent way to get a great deal.