This month, nine different companies recalled their fire gel products due to serious concerns of safety, after numerous reports of severe burns and flash fires were reported. Approximately 2 million products have been pulled from the shelves of retailers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that there have been a few dozen of such cases, where the decorative items became dangerous when consumers could not tell if the flames were extinguished, and poured additional gel into the burning pot, causing splattering flames and a violent fire eruption. 65 people have been hospitalized with severe burns, and two others tragically died as a result of their injuries. This is the inherent problem, and upon purchase, the products had only minute warnings on the external wrapping, which ultimately ended up in the garbage.
Fire pots, also known as gel fires, have become one of the hottest items out there in terms of home and patio decor. If you like candles, you will really like fire pots. If flames are your thing, you have probably seen them. The concept is pretty amazing; a gorgeous ceramic urn-type of object, with a metal cup in which the fire gel gets poured into. There are many different designs, styles, and sizes of fire pots that makes incorporating them into your home very easy. They can be used indoors or out, but most people choose the latter as it is safer. The gel is considered to be very clean burning, and does not pollute the air. Then, the gel gets lit, and voila! you have an ethereal, large, dancing flame. The only problem lies in the danger. Sadly, as cool as this type of fire is, they are extremely dangerous. Alcohol-based fire gels are combustible, and the fire they create is not easily put out with water, or conventional methods of extinguishing. Far more effective are dry chemical extinguishers, which are not the most readily kept on hand.
These are the brands that have been recalled: Smart Solar USA, BondManufacturing, Bird Brain Inc, Luminosities Inc Pacific Decor Ltd, Fuel Barons Inc, Sunjel Company, Real Flame, Fuel Barons Inc, and Lamplight Farms Inc.
If you own a fire pot, and choose to continue using it, keep in mind some precautions that may come in handy: Most importantly, do not pour additional gel onto an existing fire. If you are not sure if the flames are still going, wait a while. Make sure you own a chemical fire extinguisher, and keep it in a close, convenient place to where you will be using the fire pot. If a fire does occur, do not attempt to put it out with an onslaught of water, or the old faithful “stop, drop, and roll.”
If you are craving fire, and need another method to get your fix, we highly suggest going with gas logs in your fireplace or a ventless fireplace, or a fire pit for your backyard or patio. These modes of fire are bit more safe, and on the plus side, your inner pyro-maniac will be thrilled at having a larger fire to play with!