Bio-ethanol fireplaces, and gel burners, are a relatively cheap to buy, easy to use and a quick way to introduce a secondary heat source in to a property. They are also great for use outdoors in a garden on a table top or on a patio or terrace. Like with all heating products that involve fuel and a flame there are a number of safety considerations that need to be followed before installing and using a bio ethanol or gel fire. The most important, and first, safety consideration is to read the bio fuel fire or gel burner manufacturers installation and operation manual that is supplied with the product. If you do not have this document then it is best to contact the supplier, or manufacturer, directly and ask for a copy before installing or using the bio fuel fire.
Bio Ethanol Fire Safety : Are Bioethanol Fireplaces Safe?
Since the early development of gel burners using gel fuel cans in the 90’s and the increased production of bio ethanol fuel the market for bio ethanol fuel products has greatly increased. With this growth in the market the type and style of bio ethanol burner products has expanded to include many different installation styles. For instance you can now buy a bioethanol fuel stove. The benefits of using a bio ethanol fuel fire include clean burning, without harmful emissions, and as they are flueless they do not need a chimney making them perfect for modern properties and apartments. Despite the ease of installation and use, safety is still a main consideration.
Overall most smaller bio ethanol fuel fireplaces are considered to be decorative, especially the very small gel fuel burners. These small gel burners, using gel fuel cans, are relatively safe and as long as safety is followed should not present and problems. However, today there are more larger, and wider, bio fuel burners being sold, including large bio ethanol fuel ribbon burners that are up to 2000mm wide. As with any product that has a live flame, safety needs to be observed. Bioethanol fires have a live flame, give off heat and are fuelled by a flammable liquid. This means that great care needs to be observed for storing bioethanol fuel, safe handling of the bioethanol fuel, using a bioethanol fire and protection from the flame. Below we have covered some of the safety issues that need to be considered.
The Safe Storing of Bio Ethanol Fuel
Bio-ethanol fireplace fuel is highly flammable and is supplied in liquid form in bottles from 1l to 10l in size. Buying bioethanol fuel in bulk can have savings over buying single bottles but additional safety issues need to be considered especially where a large quantity of this fuel will be stored safely.
It is my opinion that bio ethanol fuel, and gel fuel, should be stored safely in a fireproof container, preferably outdoors in a secure store room like a locked garage or shed. Only the amount of bio fuel that is required to use the fire at that particular time should be brought inside and afterwards any unused fuel returned back to the store. Read the label on the fuel bottle or can and the manufacturer of the bioethanol fire should also give you guidance on safe handling and storing of the bio fuel.
Safe Usage of Bio Ethanol Fuel
Regardless of what size of bottle you decide to buy bioethanol fuel in great care needs to be observed when filling, lighting and extinguishing the bioethanol burner. The manufacturer of the fire should say in the user manual how to do this safely.
When you are ready to use the bioethanol fireplace it will involve filling the burner tray with ethanol fuel, which, if you have read the difference between bioethanol and gel fuel page, is a liquid. That means it is easy to spill and overflow. Again, the manufacturers user manual will tell you how best to fill the tray and how much bio fuel to use. It is likely you will need to use a funnel, or maybe a pump, to safely add the bioethanol fuel to the burner tray and to avoid fuel spillages.
Safe lighting of the bioethanol fireplace requires great care. 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 bioethanol fire is alight it will start to generate heat and will have a live flame. To extinguish the flame follow the manufacturer guidance however this will probably involve a sliding lid, a plate and some form of handle to cover the burner. The flame is killed by lack of oxygen, unless it is a remote control bioethanol fireplace where an electric pump will stop feeding fuel.
Bio Ethanol Fire Flame Protection
Ensure that all combustible materials are at a safe distance from the fire – for example curtains, carpets or cushions. The 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 safe flame protection. The model shown in the image has glass.
Bioethanol Fire Ventilation
Ensure the room has sufficient ventilation to make the environment comfortable for the user. Ventilation can be provided by a permanent air vent or by opening a window. Read our guide to bioethanol fuel fireplace ventilation
Buying a Bioethanol Fire
Take care over the size of bio ethanol burner and the volume of fuel you will use. Consider how long you intent to use the bioethanol fire for, how much heat you require, where it will be used, any installation requirements and of course bioethanol fire safety before choosing a bioethanol burner. For some extra pointers, read our guide to choosing a bioethanol fire.
Here are some examples of bio ethanol fireplaces that area vailable to buy online.
More Bio-Ethanol Fireplace Blog Pages
The main menu above has links to a wide range of gel fuel burner and bio ethanol fuel related pages including suppliers, retailers, technical guides and reviews. Use the main menu to navigate the website and find your ideal bio ethanol fuel or gel fuel burner for your home. Here are a selection of the latest posts that have been added to the website.
- Are Gel Burner Fires Safe? Bio Gel Fire Safety
- 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