“ Brand: Challenge / Type: Electric Fire „
When we moved to our new house back at the start of the summer, we didn't have much need of a fire, although there already was a working fire. The previous house owners were very good and since they were downsizing and moving a considerable distance away left us quite a bit of stuff. One item that was left was this Challenge Brass Spark Fire Guard. We brought out own from our previous house, but the one that was left was a better fit and offered better protection around the fire, crucial when you have a small child like we do. We have just got a wood burner installed and so have now done away with the open fire and therefore done away with the need for this, but I gave it to a friend expecting her first child, so it will be put to good use elsewhere. I don't know how much a new one costs, but I have seen them retail on ebay for around £12.
This fireguard is made of steel, and is black in colour, like most fireguards and has brass plated trims. It is free standing and slightly curved.. With an open fire, I really do not like when it sparks and I am always very fearful that my daughter will be walking past and one spark at her, so something that prevents any sparks from getting too far is a necessity. It is also a great way of preventing your carpet from getting burnt or marked. This guard is big enough and fits the general shape of the fire well to prevent such sparks from reaching beyond the hearth. We actually started using the fire at the end of the summer when there it was quite cool and we have a back boiler, so it was a good way of taking the chill out of the bedrooms and I found this guard worked brilliantly at preventing sparks reaching the floor or furniture and I felt happy with it up when my little girl was in the room. The size and shape of the guard seem to help a lot with this.
As I said we have now got a stove so have no need for a guard, and our daughter is very good at not going anywhere near it so this guard was redundant, however, I would have been perfectly happy to have kept it had we continued to have an open fire, as it was a good quality, sturdy product that was effective in what it was designed to do.
~This fire screen is a bright spark!~
When wanting to enjoy the warmth of an open fire during cold weather you do need to think about getting a simple but effective fire guard such as this Challenge Spark Guard Fire Screen. In use this screen can help to ensure that hot coals or logs can burn away safely, giving out plenty of cozy heat without the risk of sparks flying all over the place. The screen is very simply put together and really easy to site where required, with it being well balanced so as to be able to stand in front of an open fire, without falling over or unbalancing at the slightest knock.
The screen is a true budget buy at the moment too as it has been reduced to just £6.99 from a price of over £17 at Argos right now. Even at the higher price at the time of purchase I considered the screen to be good value for money as it was just what I was looking for. I found that the screen is weighted evenly with it being neither too light and flimsy or too heavy and bulky (which in either case may make for difficult handling when in use). There is a central ringed section set in to the front of the mesh screen that you can use to move the screen slightly (when adding extra coals or logs to the fire etc), if wanted and although this part may not look all that strong, in my opinion it does function as it should.
The look of the screen is basic and functional and would suit many room situations as its simplicity doesn't detract from the look of an open fire or an ornate fire surround and grate. In use the screen sits well when put in place in front of an open fire and can be used to help protect furniture and soft furnishings within a room setting from sparks when the fire is burning. Whilst the product details do state that the screen is for decorative purposes only, rather than for use as a full on fire guard, I found it worked well enough when used to prevent sparks from flying where they shouldn't.
The height and width of the screen is large enough to provide cover for a small sized open fire with it being roughly 61 x 53 x 10 cms. When in use the metal mesh panel feels firmly attached to the metal sides, top and bottom of the screen and works well enough to help stop sparks from the fire escaping. I wouldn't think this screen would be large enough or strong enough to be used as something to keep small children away from a hot open fire and as such I would not recommend it for that purpose, although as a simple ornamental screen that can help to prevent sparks from flying and so help stop burnt rugs and carpets it works well enough.
My rating for this product is 4 stars based on its free standing functionality and looks, as well as its cheap sale price at the moment, which I feel makes this a fair priced budget product that does have a few limitations as mentioned.