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warning: blomus firescreens

13 Feb

Firescreen by Blomus, discontinued (thankfully)

This post is a bit off-topic, but considering the implications, it’s very important for me to get the word out.

Until last night, we had a beautiful glass and stainless steel firescreen, which we bought about a week after moving to our new apartment (we were *very* excited about having a working fireplace. It was June).

Dad made this for us

Things got even more decor-coordinated when my amazing father created a smoke-guard for us (above) to fix the dimensions of the fireplace opening. (In old houses like ours, fireplaces were built for coal, not logs; today, many old fireplaces need to be retrofitted).

We knew we’d have to get an additional trifold screen to block off the area once baby started crawling. We knew to be careful, never exposing it to extremes in temperature or banging against it once the fire was going. And we knew we were a little crazy to spend almost $350 for a decorative piece of glass and steel. But Blomus seemed like a safe bet – German design and craftsmanship, a beautiful assortment of products, a ‘premium’ price point…and no documentation anywhere saying, “Achtung! This is for decorative use only!”

Last night, we made the fire as we’ve always done. We set the baby in his swing a few feet away and plopped ourselves down on the sofa for an evening of TV-and-fire-watching. Then… BANG!

The aftermath

It sounded like an explosion. Or what I imagine a gunshot sounds like at close range. It was the most frightening thing. Liam rushed over to the baby. I can’t remember where I looked first.

As Gram Parson says, we’re still sweeping out the ashes in the morning, but at least we’re safe. Luckily, we have an area rug that somehow prevented the spray of glass in our direction. But you can bet your sweet bottom there’s a paper letter going out to our friends at Blomus to complement the email I sent approximately four minutes after the ‘splosion.

Bebop firescreen, also by Blomus

This is a long-winded post, written just to say “be careful, boys and girls.” The sad thing? I really loved that screen. Now I have to find another one to match the stainless-steel decor, and I wish it could be the new one they’re selling.

UPDATE: The kind folks at Blomus wrote me a very nice email response, saying “it was a shocking email to read because this is a unique occurrence.” Mark at Blomus has offered me a gift credit for any item (of similar value) in their catalog. Great customer service, albeit damage control, from Blomus USA.