Tis the season to get a roaring fire going!
Sixty percent of new homes have a fireplace. That's a lot of people using their fireplace for the first time.
If you're one of those people, you might not have considered the hearth products you'll want over the winter.
Luckily, we've put together a list. Read on to find out exactly what you're missing.
A good set of fireplace tools is one of the essential hearth products.
Although they sound dull, tools don't have to be unsightly. There are many varieties out there. Tools and tool stands are available in options to suit almost any aesthetic, whether it's wood, steel, or plastic. Some are made to be unobtrusive, others to stand out as a piece of furniture.
2. Fire Screen
Fire screens not only look good, but they'll keep your loved ones safe.
If you have pets or small children, you need a fire screen. They'll stop your little ones going where they shouldn't. They also have the added bonus of protecting your furniture from loose embers.
Invest in an aesthetic fire screen if you can. It'll add to the fireplace in a way that doesn't distract from its appeal.
Unless you're a fire-building expert, you'll want some assistance. And even then, you need good kindling.
Keep a box of firestarters handy. There are plenty of different types available. Some are made from natural wood dipped in paraffin wax. Others are more artificial, but they all do the same job. Firestarters create a small, concentrated flame at the heart of your fire to help it catch.
Save yourself the cursing and pick up a box before you use your hearth.
4. Wood Holder
A nice wood holder reduces fireplace admin. That makes it a must among hearth products.
Getting the fire going should be a pleasant, relaxing experience. If you store wood elsewhere, it can become a chore. This is especially true if you've chosen a bad place for storage and the firewood becomes damp as a result.
Invest in a nice wood holder to keep a small amount of firewood near at hand. There are plenty of options available. Have a spare alcove? Invest in shelves for your wood. Or you can spring for a fireside box or basket.
5. Hearth Rug
Want to dress up the hearth and add an extra element of fire safety?
A hearth rug is one of the smarter hearth products. Not only can it leave your hearth looking nicer, but it also reduces the risks posed by stray embers and tumbling logs.
Your hearth rug should always be rated for fire safety, so make sure to check this when purchasing. Don't use just any rug or you could be putting yourself at risk - of ruining your rug if nothing else.
6. Ash Vacuum
A roaring fireplace is a comforting image, but have you pictured what comes after?
It can be tough to keep a fireplace clean. Even worse, ash has a tendency to scatter into the air and settle on your furnishings when you try to clean it.
Consider buying an ash vacuum to help you out. The filter on a regular vacuum cleaner isn't enough to handle the ash from a fire, so don't make that mistake. With an ash vacuum, you can spend more time enjoying your fireplace and less time cleaning up.
You never appreciate how much lung power you don't have until you use a bellows.
Building a fire should never be a chore. A good, hand-operated bellows will keep your fire fed with oxygen. Bellows also add an old-timey visual to the house, so if that's your thing then be sure to store them nearby.
The nozzle on a bellows lets you deliver oxygen straight to the base of a flame. Oxygen is one half of the fuel a fire needs to burn, so using a bellows gives you a stronger flame quicker.
8. Stove Fan
If you have a stove-style hearth, why not invest in a stove fan?
Most of the heat generated from a fireplace actually disappears up into the house. That means the room you're in doesn't get the full effect. You can place a fan on top of your stove to redirect that hot air back into the room.
Investing in a fan makes your fire less wasteful, giving you the full benefit of your stove's heat.
9. Fire Gloves
Want a roaring fire without the scorch marks on your hands? Invest in a good set of fire gloves.
Make sure you're using actual fire gloves, too. Not all thick gloves consist of fireproof material. That's not something you want to discover at the wrong moment.
But with a nice set of thick fireproof gloves, you can light the fire in relative comfort while protecting your hands from naked flames and intense heat.
10. Fire Safety Equipment
Fire safety equipment might not be the most fun accessory, but it's definitely the most vital.
You should have fire safety equipment nearby whenever you're dealing with naked flames in your home. It's a precaution that could save a lot of heartache.
For a wood fire, a water extinguisher or dry powder extinguisher will do. Dry powders will leave more of a mess, but you should invest in one if your fireplace has a gas component. Make sure your extinguisher is within its lifespan date - get a new one if it expires.
Make sure you also have adequate smoke alarms throughout your home and that they're regularly tested.
Hearth Products for the Home
Maybe there's more to a hearth than you ever realized. Or maybe you needed reminding before the winter.
Either way, you're equipped now to make the most of your fireplace in the winter months. Use our shopping list, and enjoy the comfort of a warm fire.