Fireplace accessories are a fairly popular retail item each fall and winter and range from decorative to practical to a mixture of both. Some fireplace accessories are purely for decorative effects, such as candelabras, but many serve a practical purpose and are often sold in sets. The following list of fireplace accessories serves as an example of the most commonly purchased pieces.
Fireplace screens set in front of a fireplace to block larger embers from popping out onto the hearth or into the room. While most functioning fireplaces have built in doors and sliding screens, non-functioning or electric fireplaces typically utilize a fireplace screen as a decorative addition, rather than a practical one. Fireplace screens are typically tri-fold stands and may be elaborately designed, even embellished with stained glass inserts, while others may be quite plain.
Fireplace shovels, pokers, and brooms.
These fireplace accessories typically come in a set, complete with a stand or similar storage method. While many sets are designed purely for a decorative effect, there is a practical use for these tools if you have a wood-burning fireplace. The shovel is used to shovel ash from the fireplace grate for removal and to act as a sort of dust pan for the broom to sweep ash into while cleaning. Pokers allow you to safely rearrange burning logs to reconstitute a hot fire as the flame burns down.
Buckets and ash bins.
As far as fireplace accessories go, buckets and ash bins are typically only used for practical purposes. Buckets and similar vessels act as a wood cradle to neatly store wood near the fireplace for burning. Ash bins, which could also be buckets, are used to store ashes after cleaning and before dumping. Some functioning wood-burning fireplaces actually have an ash bin stored out the back of the chimney or underneath the grate where ashes can be swept between uses.
Bellows are one of those cool fireplace accessories that are more nostalgic than others are. When fireplaces were used as the sole source of heat in a home, they had to be kept burning. A bellow blows air into the flame, which helps keep the wood burning and was much simpler and more effective than trying to blow air into the fire by mouth. People who enjoy keeping a fire burning may still find bellows useful tools.
When purchasing fireplace accessories, be sure to determine their intent. If using them for decorative purposes only, purchase what you like. If purchasing them for practical use, be sure they are designed for the work. Some decorative fireplace accessories are not made of fire-grade material and could melt or catch fire easily.