You probably know what a fireplace screen is for – it keeps the material burning in your fireplace from popping, flying, or falling out of the fireplace. Unfortunately, people sometimes mistakenly assume that a fireplace screen is invulnerable and will last forever. Fireplace screens do need occasional maintenance, and can wear out over time.
Using Your Fireplace Screen
Before using your screen, you should verify that it is the right size for your fireplace and that it works correctly. A screen that is too small will not guarantee protection, and an old malfunctioning screen (bent, hinges that do not work, torn, etc.) will cause you real trouble when you are trying to wrangle it in front of a roaring fire. Check to see that the screen provides adequate coverage and that you can move it in front of the fire and away from the fire easily before you ever ignite the fire.
As long as your fireplace screen is the right size and in good working order, using it should be fairly easy. Push it or move it aside to prepare the fire and to start it, then pull the screen in front of the fireplace as close as you can to cover the opening. If you need to move the screen aside to tend the fire, be sure to check the handles carefully or wear gloves to avoid burning yourself.
Keep the screen pulled to until the fire is completely out.
Because you use your fireplace screen in front of a hot fire, it is worthwhile to occasionally maintenance it and replace it if necessary. Your fireplace screen probably has only a few major moving parts. This makes maintenance easy.
Check all hinges and moving parts for smooth operation and oil any that are sticking. Verify that the wire mesh is intact and that there are no large holes that would allow material to escape the fire. If you can use the screen easily when the fire is cold, it should work fine when it is hot.
If the fireplace screen has a lot of wear, gaps in coverage, or is bent and hard to use, it is probably time to buy a replacement.