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Masonry and prefabricated fireplaces can be fueled by wood, natural gas, biomass and propane fuel sources. Ventless Fireplaces (duct free/room-venting fireplaces) are fueled by either gel, liquid propane, bottled gas or natural gas. In the United States, some states and local counties have laws restricting these types of fireplaces. They must be properly sized to the area to be heated. There are also air quality control issues due to the amount of moisture they release into the room air, and oxygen sensor and carbon monoxide sensors are safety essentials. Direct vent fireplaces are fueled by either liquid propane or natural gas. They are completely sealed from the area that is heated, and vent all exhaust gasses to the exterior of the structure. A wide range of accessories are used with fireplaces, which range between countries, regions, and historical periods. For the interior, common in recent Western cultures include grates, fireguards, log boxes, andirons, pellet baskets, and fire dogs, all of which cradle fuel and accelerate burning. A grate (or fire grate) is a frame, usually of iron bars, to retain fuel for a fire. Heavy metal firebacks are sometimes used to capture and re-radiate heat, to protect the back of the fireplace, and as decoration. Fenders are low metal frames set in front of the fireplace to contain embers, soot and ash. For fireplace tending, tools include pokers, bellows, tongs, shovels, brushes and tool stands. Other wider accessories can include log baskets, companion sets, coal buckets, cabinet accessories and more.

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Fireplace

A fireplace is a structure made of brick, stone or metal designed to contain a fire. Fireplaces are used for the relaxing ambiance they create and for heating a room. Modern fireplaces vary in heat efficiency, depending on the design.

Historically they were used for heating a dwelling, cooking, and heating water for laundry and domestic uses. A fire is contained in a firebox or firepit; a chimney or other flue allows exhaust to escape. A fireplace may have the following: a foundation, a hearth, a firebox, a mantelpiece; a chimney crane (used in kitchen and laundry fireplaces), a grate, a lintel, a lintel bar,home overmantel, a damper, a smoke chamber, a throat, and a flue.

On the exterior there is often a corbeled brick crown, in which the projecting courses of brick act as a drip course to keep rainwater from running down the exterior walls. A cap, hood, or shroud serves to keep rainwater out of the exterior of the chimney; rain in the chimney is a much greater problem in chimneys lined with impervious flue tiles or metal liners than with the traditional masonry chimney, which soaks up all but the most violent rain. Some chimneys have a spark arrestor incorporated into the crown or cap.

Organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington Department of Ecology warn that, according to various studies, fireplaces can pose a significant health risk.[1][2] The EPA writes “Smoke may smell good, but it’s not good for you.”

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