A fireplace is a structure designed to contain a fire used for heating a room or creating ambiance. Usually built of brick, stone, or metal, fireplaces are made up of an opening, mantel, surround, hearth and apron. Fireplaces were once commonplace multipurpose housing fixtures that were used for heating a space, cooking, and warming water for laundry. A chimney allows the exhaust from the fire (contained in a firebox or fire pit) to escape. The most common types of fireplaces are pre-manufactured fireplaces made of sheet metal with glass fire boxes and electric fireplaces which are good alternatives for modern fireplaces that don't rely on wood or gas.
There are fireplace kits that can be purchased to aid in the construction process. Building a fireplace starts with the hearth and foundation. The masonry foundation base needs to be thick enough to uphold both the chimney and firebox. Construct the framing and hearth with reference to set standards and safety regulations and assemble the firebox. Make a platform of masonry inside the firebox and set the damper in it, over the opening of the frame made.
To use a fireplace, the most important factor to consider is safety. Clear the space around the fireplace of any flammable items and materials. Collect kindling and open the damper, the device meant for sealing the fireplace when not in use. After adjusting the damper, build the fire and light the top of it. Only close the damper after the fire is completely out.
Begin cleaning a fireplace by using a small broom to collect and remove the ashes and dust. The ashes can be saved for other purposes such as being spread over a garden bed. In order to clean off the soot from the grate, wet the grate and scrub with a brush dipped in detergent. A hand vacuum can be used if needed to remove any dust and debris that remains. The walls and floor of the fireplace can be sprayed with cleaning solution and wiped down and dried with a rag.