Title:
FIREPLACE SHIELD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A metallic fireplace shield is provided which fits into a fireplace opening by flexing or bowing the shield in the vertical or horizontal direction and placing it in the fireplace opening while flexed. After insertion the shield is partially relaxed. The residual stresses in the shield provide a pressure on the fireplace sides which holds it firmly in place.



Inventors:
Carzoli, Marylou F. (Marietta, GA, US)
Application Number:
10/209395
Publication Date:
02/19/2004
Filing Date:
07/30/2002
Assignee:
CARZOLI F. MARYLOU
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
126/547
International Classes:
F24B1/192; F24C15/28; (IPC1-7): F24B1/192
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DAGOSTINO, SABRINA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Marylou, Carzoli F. (2718 Tritt Springs Drive, Marietta, GA, 30062-5272, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. An improved fire shield apparatus for use in a fireplace wherein said fireplace has an opening comprising a top, a bottom, and connecting side edges, said apparatus comprising in combination: (a) a metal shield of a height slightly greater than said fireplace opening and width slightly smaller than said fireplace opening for preventing sparks from being projected from said fireplace beyond said screen; (b) wherein said shield has upper and lower horizontal edges which are generally parallel; (c) wherein said shield has left and right vertical edges which are generally parallel; (d) wherein said shield has handle means centrally locate near said upper and lower horizontal edges; (e) wherein said fireplace opening has a horizontal mechanical support means located on the inner top surface of said opening; and (f) where by said shield is installed by inserting said upper edge into said horizontal mechanical support means and using said handles said shield is bowed outward until said bottom edge is located directly below said horizontal mechanical support means at which point the flexing pressure is released and said screen is held in place by said horizontal mechanical support means at said top edge and by frictional holding means at said bottom edge.

2. The shield of claim 1 wherein said shield is fabricated from any a fire resistant sheet material including stainless steel, copper, carbon steel, aluminum, brass, titanium and the like as well as laminates of two or more of the foregoing materials

3. The fire shield of claim 1 wherein the thickness of said shield can range from 0.010 inches thick to greater than 0.170 inches thick.

4. The fire shield of claim 1 wherein a decorative design may be embossed, painted, repoussèd or created by other decorative techniques.

5. An improved fire shield apparatus for use in a fireplace wherein said fireplace has an opening comprising a top, a bottom, and connecting side edges, said apparatus comprising in combination: (a) a metal shield of a height slightly greater than said fireplace opening and width slightly smaller than said fireplace opening for preventing sparks from being projected from said fireplace beyond said screen; (b) wherein said shield has upper and lower horizontal edges which are generally parallel; (c) wherein said shield has left and right vertical edges which are generally parallel; (d) wherein said shield has handle means centrally locate near said upper and lower horizontal edges; (e) wherein said fireplace opening has inherent horizontal frictional support means located on the inner top and inner bottom surface of said opening; and (f) whereby said shield is installed by inserting said upper edge onto said horizontal frictional support means and using said handles said shield is bowed outward until said bottom edge is located directly below said upper horizontal mechanical support means at which point the flexing pressure is released and said screen is held in place by said horizontal frictional support means at said top edge and said bottom edge

6. The shield of claim 5 wherein said shield is fabricated from any a fire resistant sheet material including stainless steel, copper, carbon steel, aluminum, brass, titanium and the like as well as laminates of two or more of the foregoing materials

7. The fire shield of claim 5 wherein the thickness of said shield can range from 0.010 inches thick to greater than 0.170 inches thick.

8. The fire shield of claim 5 wherein a decorative design may be embossed, painted, repoussèd or created by other decorative techniques.

9. An improved fire shield apparatus for use in a fireplace wherein said fireplace has an opening comprising a top, a bottom, and connecting side edges, said apparatus comprising in combination: (a) a metal shield of a height slightly smaller than said fireplace opening and a width slightly smaller than said fireplace opening for preventing sparks from being projected from said fireplace beyond said screen; (b) wherein said shield has upper and lower horizontal edges which are generally; (c) wherein said shield has left and right vertical edges which are generally parallel; (d) wherein said shield has handle means centrally located near said left and right vertical edges; (e) wherein said fireplace opening has a vertical mechanical support means located on the left and right vertical inner surfaces of said opening; and (f) whereby said shield is installed by inserting said left vertical edge into said left vertical mechanical support means and using said handles said shield is bowed outward until said the right vertical edge is can be inserted directly into said vertical mechanical support means at which point the flexing pressure is released and said screen reverts to said screens original width and is held in place by said left and right vertical mechanical support means

10. The shield of claim 9 wherein said shield is fabricated from a fire resistant sheet material including stainless steel, copper, carbon steel, aluminum, brass, titanium and the like as well as laminates of two or more of the foregoing materials

11. The fire shield of claim 9 wherein the thickness of said shield can range from 0.010 inches thick to greater than 0.170 inches thick.

12. The fire shield of claim 9 wherein a decorative design may be embossed, painted, repoussèd or created by other decorative techniques.

13. An improved fire shield apparatus for use in a chiminia wherein said fireplace has a curved but regular opening comprising a top, a bottom, and connecting side edges, said apparatus comprising in combination: (a) a metal shield of a height slightly greater than said fireplace opening and width slightly smaller than said fireplace opening for preventing sparks from being projected from said fireplace beyond said screen; (b) wherein said shield has upper and lower curved edges; (c) wherein said shield has left and right curved edges; (d) wherein said shield has handle means centrally located near said upper and lower edges; (e) wherein said fireplace opening has a horizontal and vertical frictional holding means located on the inner surfaces of said opening; and (f) whereby said shield is installed by inserting said upper edge into said top frictional holding means and using said handles said shield is bowed outward until said bottom edge is located directly over said horizontal frictional holding means at which point the flexing pressure is released and said screen is held in place by said frictional holding means at said top edge and by frictional holding means at said bottom edge.

14. The shield of claim 13 wherein said shield is fabricated from any fire resistant sheet material including stainless steel, copper, carbon steel, aluminum, brass, titanium and the like as well as laminates of two or more of the foregoing materials

15. The fire shield of claim 13 wherein the thickness of said shield can range from 0.010 inches thick to greater than 0.170 inches thick.

16. The fire shield of claim 13 wherein a decorative design may be embossed, painted, repoussèd or created by other decorative techniques.

17. Vertical and horizontal mechanical holding devices for said cover have an essentially “U” shaped cross section wherein the depth of the opening of said “U” shaped face is between about 0.125 and 1.250 inches and preferably about 0.375 inches deep and wherein the width of said “U” shaped opening ranges from 0.250 to 0.750 inches and is preferably 4 to 8 times the thickness of said cover.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention is directed to the field of flexible for the opening to fireplaces and other domestic fire holding devices without doors. These devices generally include fireplace shield, fireplace screens, draft shields and fire boards which all are meant generally and specifically to describe a protective and, preferably, ornamental device that is placed in front of or within a fireplace opening or other the opening to domestic fire holding devices such as a free standing ceramic stoves such as Kakkel (tile) ovens, chiminea and other fire holding devices in order to shield the room side from sparks drafts, odors and view of the fireplace interior after the fire dies and the occupants of the room leave it for an extended period.

[0003] Ceramic chiminea fire holders are usually used outside on decks or patios but like fireplaces they generally do not have integral door to close off the fire while it is dying out.

[0004] Built-in fireplaces and other domestic fire holding devices like chiminea are a common addition to modern homes despite their well-known thermal inefficiencies. The fireplace is typically built into an inside or outside wall of a room and is connected to a chimney. The chimney extends vertically through the roof and provides a vent for smoke, gases and the like released from the fuel while being burned. The chimney exhaust is enabled by the draft created by the burning fuel.

[0005] Fireplace use is characterized by a number of problems and drawbacks. For example fireplaces are very inefficient heating devices. This is primarily due to the fact that a majority of the heat generated by fire goes up the chimney rather than out into the room. Additionally and perhaps worse is that the draft caused by the differential thermal pressure in the fireplace extracts the furnace-heated air in the room. The problem is particularly challenging at night after the user has retired. If the fire is still burning, it is impossible to close the fireplace damper without causing the smoke and gases to back up into the room. Instead of waiting for the fire to completely burn out and then closing the fireplace damper, the user leaves the fireplace damper open overnight. Thus, furnace-heated air in the room goes up the chimney until morning.

[0006] Various workers in the art have attempted to overcome one or more of the foregoing problems and disadvantages. For example, fireplace screen constructions having openable and closable glass doors have been devised. However, these constructions are expensive, difficult to install, and do not fit all sizes of fireplaces. Custom fitting of the glass doors requires even greater expenditures. Aesthetically, glass doors are distracting and, even when open, partially restrict viewing the fire.

[0007] 2. Description of Related Art

[0008] Early fireplace covers designed and constructed to shield the dying fire while still radiating residual heat back to the room are described in U.S. Pat. No. 176,363 to E. G. Schwarz, U.S. Pat. No. 419,064 to H. D. Pursell, U.S. Pat. No. 552,282 to W. E. Fitch, U.S. Pat. No. 624,984 to M. L. Scanlon, U.S. Pat. No. 1,475,886 to B. S. Rowe and U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,590,396 and 1,606,112 to J. H. Sutton. More recent but typical fireplace fronts are described in U.S. Pat. No. 2,398,240 to G. Merryweather, et al. These fronts are typically faced with glass framed in metal. More recently, fireplace closures have been described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,789,655 to L. O. Reiner U.S. Pat. No. 3,888,232 to C. A. LeBrun U.S. Pat. No. 5,301,232 to A. E, Licata U.S. Pat. No. 4,884,556 to F. Alden et al and U.S. Pat. No. 4,294,224 to W. C. Lather Sr. All of these devices are complex, difficult to install and in some cases have very little or negative aesthetic value as an addition to a living room or family room.

[0009] These prior art devices typically require special types of fireplace installations or require direct attachment to the fireplace or deface the fireplace in some fashion. None of these units provide for the simplicity of use and ease of the attachment of the present invention.

[0010] Another important reason for providing a fireplace shield is that after a fire has completely died out, it is common to close the damper on the fireplace chimney in order to prevent the loss of heat from the room up the chimney. However, it is not possible to close the damper on the fireplace chimney until the fire has completely died down. Thus, during the period between active combustion and the fire being completely extinguished, there is a time frame where the damper must remain open and substantial heat loss occurs from the room up the chimney. In addition to unwanted heat loss up the chimney, there is substantial danger of down draft that might result in forcing ashes out of the fireplace and into the room.

[0011] It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an easily installed draft shield in the form of a simple device, which will shield the fireplace opening, provide smoke, spark and draft protection as well as providing sufficient air for completing combustion.

[0012] It is a further object of this invention to provide a decorative fireplace shield that may be easily installed and removed from the fireplace opening or other fire containment device and stored on its own stand.

[0013] It is an additional object of this invention to provide a fireplace shield with a holding means to hold the shield in the fireplace opening in some cases.

[0014] It is a further object of this invention that the fireplace shield be adaptable to any size opening and any thickness of the fascia of the fireplace.

[0015] It is a particular object of this invention to provide a fire place shield device that will provide up to ninety-five percent efficiency in preventing warm air from rising up the chimney during fire die down and after the fire has essentially died down.

[0016] It is a further object of this invention to provide a fireplace shield that prevents blow back from wind down the chimney blowing sparks or ashes into the home.

[0017] And finally, it is a most important object of this invention to provide a passive safety device, which prevents hot coals and sparks from being ejected from the fireplace into the room from glowing logs or other fuel. This is an important safety feature especially when no one is in the room.

[0018] These and other objects have been attained in the present invention, which accomplishes the needs described above.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0019] The present invention relates to a fireplace shield which serves to close off and provide an efficient seal of the opening of a fireplace during the time period when the active fire is dying out so as to prevent heat loss from a living area and down draft into a living area.

[0020] In accordance with the present invention, the fireplace shield comprises a rectangular, preferably metallic panel, which is mounted in the fireplace opening by inserting the panel in a partially bowed position between two vertical mounting strips having an outward facing “U” shaped profile. The bowing force is created using the integral handles mounted on the panel that comprises the cover. Releasing the bowing pressure engages the shield edges into the strips such that the opening is effectively sealed at the sides by the strips, at the bottom edge by the weight of the panel and at the top by the seal created by the panel's top edge and the fireplace fascia.

[0021] In accordance with the present invention, an effective, convenient and easily installed decorative device is provided for effectively sealing off a fireplace opening so as to prevent heat loss from and down draft to a living space when an active fire is dying out. The fireplace shield is also useful in warm weather since it reduces the loss of conditioned air through the chimney damper.

[0022] Glossary of Terms

[0023] Chiminea: A freestanding ceramic fireplace with integral chimney used outdoors on decks. A steel support frame is also provided.

[0024] Fireplace: 1. A framed opening in a chimney used to hold an open fire; 2. a metal or ceramic container with an integral chimney used to hold an open fire: 3. any enclosed structure with an access opening and a chimney used to hold an open fire.

[0025] Flexed Device Edge Movement: The movement of the flexed sheet's edges induced by the flexural forces created by bowing the sheet.

[0026] Flexural Strength: The ability of a flat sheet, generally but not limited to metal, to return to its original flat shape after bowing or flexing as long as the stresses created by bowing are within the material's elastic limit and the material obeys Hooke's Law.

[0027] Frictional Holding Means: A slip resistant surface around the periphery of a fireplace opening which may be existing or installed which can prevent the movement of an edge or fractional portion of an edge of the flexed shield device after installation.

[0028] Mechanical Holding Means: A rail, track, channel or other grooved section, which can accept an edge or fractional portion of an edge of the flexed or unflexed shield device to prevent movement of the device after installation. They may be existing or purposely installed.

[0029] Spark: A small particle of a burning substance thrown outward by a body in combustion or remaining when combustion is nearly completed

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0030] FIG. 1 shows a frontal planar view of a fireplace opening with the flexed shield in place where the flexed shield is held in place by frictional holding means at the top and bottom edges.

[0031] FIG. 2 shows a side planar view of a fireplace opening with the flexed shield of FIG. 1 in place.

[0032] FIG. 3 shows a frontal planar view of a fireplace opening with the a flexed shield in place where the flexed shield is held in place by a mechanical holding means at the top edge and frictional holding means at the bottom edge.

[0033] FIG. 4 shows a side planar view of a fireplace opening with the flexed shield of FIG. 3 in place

[0034] FIG. 5 shows a frontal planar view of a fireplace opening with the a flexed shield in place where the flexed shield is held in place by a mechanical holding means at the top edge and mechanical holding means at the bottom edge.

[0035] FIG. 6 shows a side planar view of a fireplace opening with the flexed shield of FIG. 5 in place

[0036] FIG. 7 shows a chiminia with fire shield held in place by friction at the top and bottom edges

DETAILED DESCRIPTION AND MODE OF OPERATION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

[0037] This specification and its claims use the term “fireplace shield”. This term is intended as a generic description of the types of devices in which the present invention may be classified and which include, among other designations; fireplace covers, fireplace screens, draft shields and fire boards. It is not intended to suggest that the present invention is limited to the purposes and utility of the fireplace covers, fireplace screens, draft shields and fire boards as described in the prior art. In fact, the structure and operation of the present invention is quite different from that of prior fireplace shield.

[0038] Manufacture and installation of the fireplace shield of the instant application is novel and inventive, but is also uncomplicated as regards its use. All of the extensive prior art, which dates back to the 19th Century, in the form of the U.S. Pat. No. 419,064, granted to H. D. Pursell in January 1890 to the most recent, U.S. Pat. No. 6,298,844 granted to S. B. Skinkiss in October 2001 depend on relatively complicated and cumbersome installations using awkward and unwieldy components. Although the system of construction, installation, and use of the fireplace shields described herein appears simple and uncomplicated none of these prior art patents referred to or searched teach the use of the system that is taught in the instant application. Additionally, and surprisingly, no similar system has ever been available in the fireplace and fireplace component industry.

[0039] The fireplace shield of the present invention is pictured in FIG. 3 in frontal view installed in a typical fireplace 1. This fireplace typically has a flexible wire mesh screen or glass doors in which the top edge runs in a horizontal guide rail, which has a “U” shaped cross section 11 as shown in FIG. 4. The opening of the “U” faces towards the bottom of the fireplace opening. In some cases there is a rod, which can also provide a satisfactory upper resting point for the top edge.

[0040] It must be understood that even without a rail or groove the flex action of the sheet and the surfaces of the fireplace provide adequate frictional holding means.

[0041] The fireplace shield 2 is fabricated preferably from a metallic sheet about 0.020 inches thick. The sheet thickness can range from 0.010 inches thick to greater than 0.170 inches thick. FIG. 3 depicts a fireplace shield with integral installation handles at the top 3 and bottom 4 of the shield face or, alternatively, at the sides of the shield. A decorative design 7 that may be embossed, painted or created by repoussè techniques. These fireplace shields may also be fabricated from any other fire resistant sheet material including stainless steel, copper, carbon steel, aluminum, brass, titanium and the like as well as laminates of two or more of the foregoing materials. In this case of laminates the less expensive material would face the fireside and the more expensive or less durable material would face the room. It is anticipated that the room side material could be a fabric made from fiber, which would resist charring at temperatures below about 300 degrees Fahrenheit such as cotton or temperature resistant synthetics.

[0042] It is further anticipated that the sheet could be created from a non-metallic material as long as it was fire proof and was capable of being bowed or flexed without permanent deformation or damage to the shield's physical integrity.

[0043] The mechanism or material property that permits the bowing of the shield preparatory to insertion is the elastic modulus of the material that comprises the shield. By flexing or bowing the edges of the fireplace shield, using the integral handles, the top of the shield can be inserted into the horizontal guide rail and when the bowing pressure is released the elastic modulus forces the sheet back to its original flat shape without bending or creasing the shield. Because the bowing decreases the apparent height of the shield it permits the insertion into the top guide rail. If the guide rail is not present the frictional resistance of the upper and lower edges is adequate to prevent slippage of these edges. When the bowing is released the top edge of the shield is within the guide rail and the shield's bottom edge is held in place by the frictional resistance between the bottom edge and the fireplace material. Thus the shield cannot easily be removed until the shield is re-bowed to permit removal.

[0044] Where an upper rail or channel is available the vertical dimension of the fireplace shield 2 is typically about 0.25 to 0.50 inches longer than the distance between the lower surface and the bottom of the upper rail or channel. The horizontal width of the shield is preferably about 0.10 to 0.250 inches less than the width of the fireplace opening. It may be less if a tighter fit is required. A small open area is present on each side of the shield 5, 6 to admit combustion air.

[0045] In the case where an upper rail or channel is not available the vertical dimension is typically about 0.500 inches longer than the distance between the lower and upper horizontal fireplace surfaces.

[0046] The seals thus formed at the top and bottom edges are typically air tight however a small gap is created at the sides 5, 6 due to the inward bowing or concavity 8. While the bowing is preferably inward towards the back of the fireplace the fireplace shield may also be bowed outwardly although this may provide less spark protection. The over all gap area is between two to 5 percent of the normal fireplace open area. This gap is sufficient to provide adequate air to complete combustion but prevents excessive drafts and reduces the loss of air from the room.

[0047] Alternative Embodiments

[0048] Alternative 1.

[0049] In the case where no upper rail or oother mechanical holding device exists or it is not wanted the arrangement shown in FIGS. 1 &2 can be used. In this situation fireplace shield of the present invention is pictured in FIG. 1 in frontal view installed in a typical fireplace 1. upper resistance point limiting the movement of the shield's top edge.

[0050] Because even without a rail or groove the flex action of the sheet and the surfaces of the fireplace provide adequate frictional holding means therefore the following installation works well.

[0051] The fireplace shield 2 is fabricated preferably from a metallic sheet about 0.020 inches thick. The sheet thickness can range from 0.010 inches thick to greater than 0.170 inches thick. FIGS. 1 and 2 depict a fireplace shield with integral installation handles at the top 3 and bottom 4 of the shield face or, alternatively, at the sides of the shield. A decorative design 7 that may also be embossed, painted or created by repoussè techniques. These fireplace shields may also be fabricated from any other fire resistant sheet material including stainless steel, copper, carbon steel, aluminum, brass, titanium and the like as well as laminates of two or more of the foregoing materials.

[0052] The mechanism or material property that permits the bowing of the shield preparatory to insertion is also due to the elastic modulus of the material that comprises the shield. By flexing or bowing the edges of the fireplace shield, using the integral handles, the top of the shield can be inserted into the horizontal guide rail and when the bowing pressure is released the elastic modulus forces the try to return the sheet back to its original flat shape. The horizontal friction forces created at points 9 and 10 prevent hoizontal shield movement and lock the shield in place until it is rebowed for removal

[0053] The shields vertical dimension is typically about 0.500 inches longer than the distance between the lower and upper horizontal fireplace surfaces for a typical vertical dimension of a fireplace opening. This dimension decreases or increases as the vertical dimension of the fireplace opening decrease or increases.

[0054] The seals thus formed at the top and bottom edges are typically air tight however a small gap is created at the sides 5, 6 due to the inward bowing or concavity 8. This is sufficient for completing combustion of the remaining fuel. While the bowing is preferably inward towards the back of the fireplace the fireplace shield may also be bowed outwardly although this may provide less spark protection.

[0055] Alternative 2.

[0056] In some cases it may be desirable to install vertical channels on each side of the fireplace opening. In this embodiment the shield is placed in the channels by bowing the shield in the horizontal plane. This requires the handles to be installed on the sides of the shield. The fireplace shield of this alternative embodiment of the present invention is pictured in FIG. 5 in frontal view installed in a typical fireplace. The fireplace shield 2 is fabricated preferably from a metallic sheet about 0.020 inches thick. The sheet thickness can range from 0.010 inches thick to greater than 0.170 inches thick. FIG. 5 depicts a fireplace shield with integral installation handles and a decorative design that may be embossed, painted or created by repoussè techniques. These fireplace shields may also be fabricated from any other fire resistant sheet material including stainless steel, copper, carbon steel, aluminum, brass, titanium and the like as well as laminates of two or more of the foregoing materials.

[0057] It is further anticipated that the sheet could be created from a non-metallic material as long as it was fire proof and was capable of being bowed without damaging the cover's physical integrity.

[0058] The mechanism or material property that permits the bowing of the shield preparatory to insertion is same as the preferred embodiment. By flexing or bowing the edges of the fireplace shield the shield can be inserted into the vertical guide rails and when the bowing pressure is released the elastic modulus forces the sheet back to its original flat shape without bending or creasing the cover. Because the bowing decreases the apparent width of the shield it permits the insertion into the guide rails. When the bowing is released the length of the shield is within the guide rails and cannot be removed until the shield is re-bowed to permit removal.

[0059] In practice a metallic sheet is flexed or bowed inwardly away from the installer along its vertical axis by using its integral handles. The vertical or side edges of the metallic sheet are directed towards the openings of the vertical guide rails and snapped into place into these vertical guide rails which have a “U” shaped cross section in which opening of the “U” faces towards the center of the fireplace opening. In many cases these guide rails are already present within the fireplace as a part of glass-door installations. If not present the required “U” shaped rails can be easily installed by the use of any common fastening means such as screws or adhesives.

[0060] The depth of the opening of the “U” shaped faces is between about 0.125 and 1.250 inches and preferably about 0.375 inches deep. The width of the “U” shaped opening ranges from 0.250 to 0.750 inches and is preferably 4 to 8 times the thickness of the cover.

[0061] The horizontal width of the shield is preferably about 0.250 inches less than the distance between the bottoms of the “U” shaped openings of the vertical rails and ranges from about 0.060 to about 1.50 inches less than the distance between the bottoms of the “U” shaped openings of the vertical rails.

[0062] The seals thus formed at the top and bottom edges are not airtight however the small gap, which is created, is less than two percent of the normal fireplace open area. This is derived mathematically by using a 1600 square inch fireplace opening having an opening of 40×40 inches with a resultant gap length of 160 linear inches around the periphery of the metallic sheet comprising the fireplace shield. This includes the side seals which have gap but which gap is smaller than the top and bottom edge gaps. Actual measurements of the air gap using feeler gauges show the gap to be typically {fraction (1/16)} to ⅛ inches wide. Using the larger gap the area of the gap on four sides is 20 square inches or 1.25 percent of the uncovered fireplace opening. In use this gap serves an important function in that it provides a small amount of draft, which provides combustion air to burn down any remaining fuel while ensuring that no poisonous gas such as carbon monoxide or other noxious gases can enter the room.

[0063] Another embodiment shown in FIG. 1 includes the use of frictional holding means at both the top and bottom.

[0064] Alternative 3

[0065] Another embodiment is used in fireplaces like the chiminia, which is shown in FIG. 7. In this embodiment the opening to be shielded is not rectangular, has no integral rails and which is difficult to attach rails. In this case the shield is constructed so that its horizontal dimensions are about 0.125 inches to 0.250 inches smaller than the side-to-side dimensions of the opening and about 0.25 to 0.50 inches longer than the height of the opening. The exact increase length depends on the overall height of the opening and the thickness of the shield material. Handles are installed at the top and bottom of the shield. Installation of the shield is achieved by flexing the shield using the integral handles such that a bowing effect is created in the vertical plane effectively shortening the apparent vertical length of the shield. The shield is then placed in the opening and the flexing or bowing of the shield is released thereby fixing the shield in place in the top and bottom surfaces of the chiminia. Releasing the bowing pressure permits the shield to straighten and permits the shield's top and bottom edges to contact the top and bottom surfaces of the chiminia's opening. The pressure provided by the shield trying to return to its original flat shape secures the shield in the opening. Because of the frictional resistance between the shield's edges and the chiminia's surfaces at the top and bottom of the opening the shield will remain in place until removed by flexing.

[0066] Shield material and basic dimensions are on the same order as previous embodiments.