Title:
Systems and methods for protective seating
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for covering a fireplace hearth includes: lifting a hearth guard, said hearth guard comprising a frame having at least four inner surfaces including a first inner surface, a second inner surface, a third inner surface, and a fourth inner surface; and placing the hearth guard on a fireplace hearth having at least four outer surfaces; wherein the first inner surface faces an opposing direction as the second inner surface; wherein the third and the fourth inner surfaces are orthogonal to each other and to the first and the second inner surfaces; and wherein when hearth guard is configured to be placed on the fireplace hearth such that each of the four surfaces of the frame faces an opposing direction of a respective outer surface of the fireplace hearth.



Inventors:
Brown, Steven R. (Lawrenceville, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/173209
Publication Date:
01/04/2007
Filing Date:
07/01/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24B1/192
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PRICE, CARL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sami O. Malas (Marietta, GA, US)
Claims:
1. A method for covering a fireplace hearth, said method comprising: lifting a hearth guard, said hearth guard comprising a frame having at least four inner surfaces including a first inner surface, a second inner surface, a third inner surface, and a fourth inner surface; and placing the hearth guard on a fireplace hearth having at least four outer surfaces; wherein the first inner surface faces an opposing direction as the second inner surface; wherein the third and the fourth inner surfaces are orthogonal to each other and to the first and the second inner surfaces; and wherein the hearth guard is configured to be placed on the fireplace hearth such that each of the four surfaces of the frame faces an opposing direction of a respective outer surface of the fireplace hearth.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the heart guard also comprises a padding layer and a protective later, said padding layer being located between the frame and the protective layer; and wherein the protective layer covers at least a portion of the hearth guard exterior.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the padding layer comprises at least one of polyester fiber, sponge, and cotton fiber.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein the protective layer comprises at least one of leather, cotton, vinyl, and polyester.

5. The method of claim 2, wherein the protective layer is thinner than the padding layer.

6. The method of claim 2, wherein the protective layer is less flammable than the padding layer.

7. The method of claim 2, wherein the protective layer is less flammable than the frame.

8. A method for providing a hearth guard comprising: measuring a length of a fireplace hearth; and providing a hearth guard having dimensions that are responsive to dimensions of the fireplace hearth, said hearth guard comprising a frame having at least four inner surfaces including a first inner surface, a second inner surface, a third inner surface, and a fourth inner surface; wherein the heart guard also comprises a padding layer and a protective later, said padding layer being located between the frame and the protective layer; and wherein the protective layer covers at least a portion of the hearth guard exterior; wherein the first inner surface faces an opposing direction as the second inner surface; wherein the third and the fourth inner surfaces are orthogonal to each other and to the first and the second inner surfaces; wherein a distance between the first and the second inner surfaces is greater than or equal to the length of the fireplace hearth; and wherein the hearth guard is configured to be placed on the fireplace hearth such that each of the four surfaces of the frame faces an opposing direction of a respective outer surface of the fireplace hearth.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the distance between the first and the second inner surfaces of said hearth guard is at least ¼ inch greater than the length of the fireplace hearth.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the padding layer comprises at least one of polyester fiber, sponge filling, and cotton fiber.

11. The method of claim 9, wherein the protective layer comprises at least one of leather, cotton, vinyl, and polyester.

12. The method of claim 9, wherein the protective layer is thinner than the padding layer.

13. The method of claim 9, wherein the protective layer is less flammable than the padding layer.

14. The method of claim 9, wherein the protective layer is less flammable than the frame.

15. A system for covering a fireplace hearth, said system comprising: a frame having at least four inner surfaces including a first inner surface, a second inner surface, a third inner surface, and a fourth inner surface, said system configured to at least partially cover the fireplace hearth; a padding layer; and a protective layer; wherein said padding layer is located between the frame and the protective layer; wherein the protective layer covers at least a portion of the system's exterior; wherein said fireplace hearth has at least four outer surfaces; wherein each of said four outer surfaces is orthogonal to two surfaces of said four outer surface; wherein the first inner surface faces an opposing direction as the second inner surface; wherein the third and the fourth inner surfaces are orthogonal to each other and to the first and the second inner surfaces; wherein said system is configured to be placed on the fireplace hearth such that each of the four inner surfaces of the frame faces an opposing direction of a respective outer surface of the fireplace hearth.

16. The system of claim 16, wherein the padding layer comprises at least one of polyester fiber, sponge, and cotton fiber.

17. The system of claim 16, wherein the protective layer comprises at least one of leather, cotton, vinyl, and polyester.

18. The system of claim 16, wherein the protective layer is thinner than the padding layer.

19. The system of claim 16, wherein the protective layer is less flammable than the padding layer; and the protective layer is less flammable than the frame.

Description:

BACKGROUND

Fireplace hearths are typically made of concrete and/or bricks and are therefore uncomfortable to sit on and pose a hazard to children that might fall and hit their heads on such hearths. Therefore there exists a need for systems and methods that address these and/or other problems related to fireplace hearths.

SUMMARY

Systems and methods for protective seating are provided. An embodiment of a method for covering a fireplace hearth includes: lifting a hearth guard, said hearth guard comprising a frame having at least four inner surfaces including a first inner surface, a second inner surface, a third inner surface, and a fourth inner surface; and placing the hearth guard on a fireplace hearth having at least four outer surfaces; wherein the first inner surface faces an opposing direction as the second inner surface; wherein the third and the fourth inner surfaces are orthogonal to each other and to the first and the second inner surfaces; and wherein when hearth guard is configured to be placed on the fireplace hearth such that each of the four surfaces of the frame faces an opposing direction of a respective outer surface of the fireplace hearth.

An embodiment of a method for providing a hearth guard includes: measuring a length of a fireplace hearth; and providing a hearth guard having dimensions that are responsive to dimensions of the fireplace hearth, said hearth guard comprising a frame having at least four inner surfaces including a first inner surface, a second inner surface, a third inner surface, and a fourth inner surface; wherein the heart guard also comprises a padding layer and a protective later, said padding layer being located between the frame and the protective layer; and wherein the protective layer covers at least a portion of the hearth guard exterior; wherein the first inner surface faces an opposing direction as the second inner surface; wherein the third and the fourth inner surfaces are orthogonal to each other and to the first and the second inner surfaces; wherein a distance between the first and the second inner surfaces is greater than or equal to the length of the fireplace hearth; and wherein when hearth guard is configured to be placed on the fireplace hearth such that each of the four surfaces of the frame faces an opposing direction of a respective outer surface of the fireplace hearth.

A system for covering a fireplace hearth includes: a frame having at least four inner surfaces including a first inner surface, a second inner surface, a third inner surface, and a fourth inner surface, said system configured to at least partially cover the fireplace hearth; a padding layer; and a protective layer; wherein said padding layer is located between the frame and the protective layer; wherein the protective layer covers at least a portion of the system's exterior; wherein said fireplace hearth has at least four outer surfaces; wherein each of said four outer surfaces is orthogonal to two surfaces of said four outer surface; wherein the first inner surface faces an opposing direction as the second inner surface; wherein the third and the fourth inner surfaces are orthogonal to each other and to the first and the second inner surfaces; wherein said system is configured to be placed on the fireplace hearth such that each of the four inner surfaces of the frame faces an opposing direction of a respective outer surface of the fireplace hearth.

Other systems, methods, features and advantages of the invention will be or will become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following figures and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the invention, and be protected by the claims (currently or subsequently presented).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Many aspects of the invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present invention. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

FIG. 1A depicts a conceptual block diagram of a protective seating system prior to placement on a fireplace hearth.

FIG. 1B depicts a conceptual block diagram of a protective seating system on a fireplace hearth.

FIG. 2A depicts an exterior perspective view of an example embodiment of a protective seating system.

FIG. 2B depicts an interior perspective view of an example embodiment of a protective seating system.

FIG. 3A depicts an embodiment of a protective seating system and a fireplace hearth.

FIG. 3B depicts an example embodiment of a protective seating system on a fireplace hearth.

FIG. 4A depicts an example embodiment of a protective seating system prior to placement on a fireplace hearth.

FIG. 4B depicts an example embodiment of a protective seating system on a fireplace hearth.

FIG. 4C depicts an example embodiment of a protective seating system prior to placement on a fireplace hearth.

FIG. 4D depicts an example embodiment of a protective seating system on a fireplace hearth.

FIG. 5 depicts an embodiment of the layers of a protective seating system.

FIG. 6 depicts a method for manufacturing a protective seating system.

FIG. 7 depicts a method for implementing a protective seating system.

FIG. 8 depicts a method for utilizing a protective seating system.

FIG. 9 depicts a method for lifting a protective seating system off of a fireplace hearth.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As will be described in greater detail herein, an embodiment of the present invention comprises systems and methods for a protective seating system on a fireplace hearth. The protective seating system protects against fire via a fire resistant protective layer, protects against the hard surface of the fireplace hearth via a padding layer, and provides a seat on top of the fireplace hearth. The protective seating system is placed on top of the fireplace hearth. The protective seating system uses the fireplace hearth for support for seating while providing a protective cover against fire and the hard surface. The protective system may be manufactured to be substantially equal to the fireplace hearth and is placed on top of the hearth.

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 A depicts a conceptual block diagram of a protective seating system 10 prior to placement on a fireplace hearth 11. The fireplace hearth 11 is the part of a fireplace that extends out on the ground. The fireplace hearth 11 may, for example, comprise bricks, rocks, concrete, or any other suitable material.

FIG. 1B depicts a conceptual block diagram of a protective seating system 10 on a fireplace hearth 11. The protective seating system 10 is configured to fit on the fireplace hearth 11 opposite the surfaces of the fireplace hearth 11.

FIG. 2A depicts an exterior perspective view of an example embodiment of a protective seating system 10. The protective seating system 10 comprises a top 27, a front 26, a side 25, and an opposite side 24 (FIG. 2B). The top 27 may, for example, be shaped as a ‘U’ to expose a portion of the top surface of a fireplace hearth, or it may, for example, substantially cover the top surface of a fireplace hearth.

FIG. 2B depicts an interior perspective view of an example embodiment of a protective seating system 10. The protective seating system 10 comprises a top 27, a front 26, a side 24, and a side 25. The protective seating system 10 comprises an interior length 22, a height 23 and a depth 21. The interior length 22 of the protective seating system 10 may be substantially greater than the depth 21 or the height 23. The length 22, the height 23, and the depth 21 of the protective seating system 10 may be measured and set responsive to the dimensions of a fireplace hearth.

FIG. 3A depicts an embodiment of a protective seating system 10 and a fireplace hearth 11. The fireplace hearth comprises a top 31, a front 32, and a side 33. The fireplace hearth 11 has dimensions of a length 34, a height 35, and a depth 36. The protective seating system 10 comprises a top 27, a front 26, and a side 25. The depth 21 (FIG. 2B) of the protective seating system 10 may be set substantially equal to the depth 36 of the fireplace hearth 11. The height 23 (FIG. 2B) of the protective seating system 10 may be set substantially equal to or less than the height 35 of the fireplace hearth 11. The interior length 22 (FIG. 2B) of the protective seating system 10 may be set substantially equal to the length 34 of the fireplace hearth 11.

FIG. 3B depicts an example embodiment of a protective seating system 10 on a fireplace hearth 11. In this example, the protective seating system 10 covers at least a portion of the front and the sides of the fireplace hearth 11 with an opening on the top of the protective seating system 10 to expose a portion of the top surface of the fireplace hearth 11.

FIG. 4A depicts an example embodiment of a protective seating system 10-1 prior to placement on a fireplace hearth 11. The fireplace hearth 11 extends out from a fireplace 41 and may, for example, comprise brick, rock, concrete, and/or any other suitable material. The protective seating system 10-1 may have a length, a depth, and a height customized based on the dimensions of the fireplace hearth 11.

FIG. 4B depicts an example embodiment of a protective seating system 10-1 on a fireplace hearth 11. The protective seating system 10-1 has surfaces that respectively oppose the top, the front, and the sides of the fireplace hearth 11. The fireplace hearth 11 provides support for the protective seating system 10. The interior length, depth, and height of the protective seating system 10-1 may be set such that the protective seating system 10-1 fits tightly on the fireplace hearth 11. A top view of the protective seating system 10-1 may depict a U shape that exposes a portion of the top surface of the fireplace hearth 11.

FIG. 4C depicts an example embodiment of a protective seating system 10-2 prior to placement on a fireplace hearth 11. The fireplace hearth 11 extends out from a fireplace 41 and may, for example, comprise bricks, rock, concrete, and/or any other suitable material. The protective seating system 10-2 may have a length, a depth, and a height customized based on dimensions the fireplace hearth 11.

FIG. 4D depicts an example embodiment of a protective seating system 10-2 on a fireplace hearth 11. The protective seating system 10-2 has surfaces that respectively oppose the top, the front, and the sides of the fireplace hearth 11. The fireplace hearth 11 provides support for the protective seating system 10-2. The interior length, depth, and height of the protective seating system 10-2 may be set such that the protective seating system 10-2 fits tightly on the fireplace hearth 11. The top surface of the protective seating system 10-2 covers substantially the entire top surface of the fireplace hearth 11.

FIG. 5 depicts an embodiment of the layers of a protective seating system 10. The protective seating system 10 comprises a protective layer 51, a padding layer 52, and a support layer 53. The protective layer 51 may comprise flexible material such as, for example, leather, cloth, or vinyl. In one embodiment the protective layer 51 may comprise a fire resistant material. The padding layer 52 may comprise compressible material such as, for example, foam, sponge, or any other suitable material. The support layer 53 may comprise relatively inflexible material such as, for example, wood. The padding layer 52 is located between the support layer 53 and the protective layer 51. The protective layer 51 may be attached to the support layer 53 (e.g., stapled) to enclose the padding layer 51.

FIG. 6 depicts a method 60 for manufacturing a protective seating system. The method 60 comprises providing a support layer (e.g., wood) (step 61); placing a padding layer (e.g., foam or sponge) on top of the support layer (step 62); placing a protective layer (e.g., leather, cloth, vinyl) on top of the padding layer (step 63); and attaching a protective layer to the support layer (step 64).

FIG. 7 depicts a method 70 for implementing a protective seating system. The method 70 comprises measuring a length of a fireplace hearth (step 71) and manufacturing a protective seating system such that the interior length of the protective seating system is substantially equal to a length of the fireplace hearth (step 72).

FIG. 8 depicts a method 80 for utilizing a protective seating system. The method 80 comprises placing the protective seating system on a fireplace hearth (step 81), and sitting on the protective seating system (step 82).

FIG. 9 depicts a method 90 for lifting a protective seating system off of a fireplace hearth. The method 90 comprises placing the protective seating system on a fireplace hearth (step 91), and lifting the protective seating system off the fireplace hearth (i.e., when desired or when no longer utilized) (step 92).

It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments of the present invention are merely possible examples, among others, of the implementations, setting forth a clear understanding of the principles of the invention. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiments of the invention without departing substantially from the principles of the invention. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of the disclosure and present invention.