A fireplace spark screen or fireplace screen curtain can help prevent against hot sparks flying out of a lit fireplace. Airborne sparks can cause things around the fireplace to catch fire making fireplace sparking a potentially dangerous occurence. Companies like Woodland Direct are known for making specially designed screens and curtains made of metal mesh. This metal mesh comes either in a stand up folding screen form or in the form of a hanging chain curtain. One advantage of these mesh curtains over glass fireplace doors is that you can burn wood in the fireplace while protecting from sparking and embers. One advantage of spark guard curtains over fireplace stand screens is that they are less likely to fall or be knocked over.
This article covers how to install a fireplace mesh curtain to keep sparks and flying embers from leaving the fireplace itself. Do not attempt this installation while a fire is going or has recently been in the fireplace.
To begin you will need to measure the top of the fireplace opening. Measure the width from one end of the fireplace opening to the other end. Determine the exact center point of the width of the opening and mark this spot with a thick marker. Purchase a high quality curtain fireplace spark guard that matches this measurement. If you are concerned about the curtain hanging with too much excess length, you may measure the height of the fireplace opening as well before making a purchase.
Use a power drill to put a hole in the lintel. The lintel is the inner frame of the fireplace on the top of the opening. This hole should be drilled into the mark you made in the last step. Ideally you’ll want to use a 3/16 inch drill bit. Go straight through the lintel into the brick or mason work behind the lintel with the bit.
Attach the center bracket of the spark guard curtain frame to the hole by screwing it into place. Use a 3/16 inch masonry lag bolt if the fireplace is brick or mason or a metal screw if the fireplace is metal. If done properly the bracket will sit just above the fireplace opening in the center.
Take the curtain rods and use a vice grip to carefully bend the outside tip of each rod to a 90 degree angle. You only need to bend a small amount of the tip, about half an inch.
Carefully slip the rods through the rod holes on the bracket. The right side rod will go through the bottom left bracket holes while the left side rod goes through the top right bracket holes. There may be some overlap of length of the rods, this is normal.
Connect the spark curtain itself to the rods. The loops across the top of the fireplace spark curtain will hook onto the rod. There are two sides of the spark curtain, when both have been put up (one hangs on each rod), there will be an overlap of the curtains in the middle. When all loops of the curtains are connected to the rod, push the bend rod ends so the sit against the inside sides of the fireplace just inside the opening. This helps to stabilize the rods.