Bio gel fuel fires and gel fuel burners are a relatively cheap to buy, easy to use and a quick way to introduce a decorative flame to a property. These tend to be small decorative fires that are fuelled by either gel fuel cans or gel fuel bottles. Most gel fuel burners are small bowl designs or table top fire designs that are portable and easy to use. However, there are also a number of wide flueless fireplaces that include multiple gel burner trays or a vessel that is filled with gel fuel. If the burner does not include ceramic wool sponge matting, which a lot of the newer bio fires have, then this vessel can be used with either bio-ethanol fuel bottles or gel fuel bottles. It is worth checking the manufacturers description when placing your online order for a gel burner to ensure you know what type of bio fuel it is designed for.
Despite being generally very small gel fuel burners still require careful use and use involves being aware of safety considerations. First, read the manufacturers instructions that were supplied with the gel fuel burner. If you do not have this document then it is best to contact the manufacturer and ask for a copy before you sat using the gel fire.
Are Gel Burner Fires Safe? Bio Gel Fire Safety
Overall gel fuel fires are considered to be decorative, especially the small gel burners that use cans or include a small burner tray that can be filled by using gel fuel bottles for the fuel. As with any product that has a live flame, give off heat and are fuelled by a flammable liquid, safety needs to be taken seriously. This means that great care needs to be observed when handling and storing the gel fuel, lighting and extinguishing the gel fire and providing some protection from the actual flame so it cannot be touched. The positioning of the gel fuel burner is also important to ensure clearances to combustible materials.
Buying a Gel Burner Fire and Gel Fuel
See these examples of gel fuel burners and gel fuel bottles and cans. For some extra pointers, read our guide to choosing a gel fire.
Storing of Gel Burner Fuel
Bio gel fuel is flammable and is normally supplied in small cans, see image, or 1 litre bottles. The gel fuel tends to be thick, like a syrup, and is sometimes coloured yellow, green or blue. As the fuel is very thick the chances of spilling the gel fuel are greatly reduced however care still needs to be taken to ensure the use of the fuel is done safely. Gel fuel is typically sold in small cans that can be dropped into a suitable burner used then disposed of. However, some gel burners are not suitable for gel fuel cans and have their own integral burner tray. With these you need to buy gel fuel in bottles. You can buy anything from one can or bottle to multiple amounts. Buying gel burner fuel in bulk can have savings over small quantities but additional safety issues need to be considered including where it will be stored safely.
First decide how often you will use the gel burner as that will give you an indication of the best quantity of gel fuel to buy. It is my opinion that the gel fuel it should be stored in a fireproof container, preferably outdoors in a secure store room like a locked garage or shed. Only the amount of gel fuel that is required to use the fire at that time should be brought inside and afterwards any unused gel fuel returned to the store. The manufacturer should also give you extra guidance on safely using the gel burner.
Using Gel Burner Fuel
Regardless of if you buy gel fuel bottles or buy gel fuel cans great care needs to be observed when filling, lighting and extinguishing the gel burner. The manufacturer should say in the user manual how to do this safely. Bioethanol and gel fuel are not the same, if you do not know this already take a look at our difference between bioethanol and gel fuel page, is a liquid.
The use of the gel fuel cans or bottles have different safety considerations, and again, the manufacturers user manual will tell you how to use the fire. Above all ensure there are no spillages before lighting the gel fire. Make sure all spillages have been cleaned up, stand back from the fire at a safe distance and use a long lighter or long match to light the fuel.
Once the gel fire is alight it will start to generate heat and will have a live flame. To extinguish the flame follow the manufacturer guidance as it will probably involve a sliding lid, a plate and some form of handle. The flame is killed by lack of oxygen.
Gel Burner Flame Protection
Ensure that all combustible materials are at a safe distance from the gel fuel fire, for example curtains, carpets or cushions. The gel fire may include a glass screen to protect the flame from drafts and from touching the flame. When buying check to see if your chosen model includes some form of flame protection as you may need it. The model shown in the image is a bowl, and has no glass protection.
More Bio Gel Fire Blog Pages
We are adding new products, product reviews and technical guides at regular times. Some of the latest posts are shown below. For a full list of all the pages on the website see the main menu.
- Bio Ethanol Fire Safety : Are Bioethanol Fireplaces Safe?
- Bio Ethanol Fireplace Insert for an Existing Fireplace
- Bio Ethanol Fuel Explained – Bio Gel Fuel Fires
- Convert Electric Inset Fire to Bio Ethanol Fuel with a Real Flame
- Fireplace Energy Efficiency Explained
- Fireplace Pebbles, Ceramic Pebbles for Bioethanol Fires