The other version that's quickly becoming popular is the stand alone model that doesn't require building into the wall but it does require a ventilation system to remove the expended fumes and chemicals from the gel or real wood burning in it.
This ventilation can be built into the wall behind the unit or you can create a funnel to vent it outside. This will require some safety precautions and may not be very attractive.
Another choice for consumers is the popular television stand often used to host an HDTV.
This model doesn't burn fuel or logs but rather has a realistic flame animation effect and is essentially a beautiful wood heater designed to look like a fireplace.
It also has shelves for home entertainment accessories (DVD Players, VCR's, Cable boxes, satellite boxes and so on).
These units put off a lot of heat and are safe even around children.
The zero clearance fuel/wood/electric options are also safe as they are self contained units that don't heat up the external parts of the unit but provide excellent heat and aesthetics.
You could even take the unit with you when you move providing you cover up the vent hole which is cheaper than buying a new fireplace!
In many places where a typical fireplace would both limit the placement (only where on both floors the chimney exists could you install one i.e. in a bedroom) of a fireplace and would be very expensive to accomplish.
The zero clearance models can go anywhere so long as you can create a vent hole.
Many of the zero point models built into the wall utilize a vent that is directly behind it and leading outside.
Since only fumes and heat are generated no toxic fumes, fire, or burned peices will cause alarm for a fire as in a typical fireplace concept where hot soot could land on the roof and catch fire.