A few nights ago I had a good fire going with the tempered glass doors closed on my pre-fabricated fireplace. Well, I guess it got too hot, after an hour or two, because one of the glass pieces shattered into small cubes. No biggie, I had a replacement, but now I have questions.
1. The fireplace has tempered glass (it is a "Majestic BR42") whose glass doors are able to withstand a documented gradual rise to 550F. Did my fire get that hot? I admit I loaded it with 4 or 5 small logs but it was not roaring by any means (I had good embers at the bottom tho that were burning quite hot).
2. I'd like to not worry about the glass doors anymore. My choices are a) get rid of them, b) never close them, c) rebuild a *real* fireplace or woodstove, or d) get better doors. I'd like to do d) for now. If I were to replace the glass, should I simply get thicker tempered glass? Or is there some other product that is the same thickness (3/16" or 1/4" I don't know for sure) that has extra heat protection?
3) Assuming a correct installation (the home builder installed it so you never know, but assume for the moment). Using standard wood for fuel, could I cause the fire to get so hot that it catches something on fire inside the wall, like some studs or drywall or insulation? Is it really that easy for a residential fireplace to get so hot with traditional fuel that it is a hazard to surrounding material used that is "to code" in all respects?
Thanks for any insight!