Warning over the use of bio-ethanol heaters in the home

Wednesday, 18th November 2020

FOLLOWING a fire in Cannock related to the use of bio-ethanol heaters, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued advice for anyone using these heaters in their home.

Just after 22.00 GMT on Saturday evening (14 November) a crew from Cannock attended a report of a fire at a property in the Norton Canes area.

The occupiers had recently constructed their own fireplace and installed an inset bio-ethanol fuel fire. After around five minutes of use, the fire flared up and they noticed burning on surrounding woodwork.

The fire was extinguished before firefighters arrived and thankfully no one was hurt.

Bio-ethanol flame-effect fires have become increasingly popular as they offer the visual attraction of flames like a real fire but do not require a flue or chimney.

Head of Learning & Development, Simon Craythorn, said:

“The open flame element used in these type of heaters presents a real fire danger and makes them highly unsuitable for use near any flammable materials in the home.

“We are asking everyone who has a real flame bio-ethanol fire to take a few minutes to make themselves fully aware of the fire risks and safety advice below. As with any naked flame in the home, we recommend to never leave them on unattended and keep them well away from anything which could catch fire.

“Please only purchase them from reputable retailers and ensure the manufacturer’s instructions are followed carefully.”

Advice for the use of bio-ethanol and gel burners

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and instructions.
  • Only use bio-ethanol fuel in fireboxes and containers designed for the product. Bio–ethanol fuel is highly flammable and should be kept in containers tightly closed and away from any ignition sources.
  • Fireboxes and containers should always be placed on a stable surface and away from combustible materials.
  • Never add fuel to a burning fire or overfill a fuel container and never fill up a firebox fuel container that is still hot.
  • Keep children and pets away from fireboxes and fuel.
  • Extinguish all fires when leaving a room or before going to sleep.
  • Always use bio-ethanol fireboxes and containers in a well-ventilated room.
  • Regularly clean and check fuel containers for damage and never use a leaking one.
  • Clean away any fuel spills with a damp cloth and dry completely.
  • Keep your hands, hair and clothing well clear of any burning flames and fuel.
  • Always light bio-ethanol fuel with an extended lighter or extra-long match – never discard matches into the container.