Are Bio Ethanol Fireplaces Safe?

Safety is by far the most important consideration to think about when buying any fireplace. Anything you are bringing into your home that uses flammable liquid and naked flames is dangerous and needs to be treated with caution and respect particularly if you have young children or pets in the house.

If you do have toddlers, babies or pets in your home then it is a good idea to think about getting a wall mounted fireplace as this will ensure that your fireplace is inaccessible so will help minimise risk.

Take Care With Highly Flammable Fuel

As with any type of fire it is essential to ensure that you take great care around the fire when it is lit.

Ethanol fuel is highly flammable so pouring it into an already lit fire is an extremely dangerous thing to do, you should only ever refuel your bio-ethanol fire when it is off and has cooled down. You should also make sure that any ethanol spills near your fireplace are immediately wiped up before the fire is lit.

Avoid Low Quality Bio Ethanol Fireplaces

You don’t have to look far on the internet to find stories of accidents happening with bio-ethanol fires however this certainly doesn’t mean that Bio Ethanol fires should be avoided at all costs. Most accidents happen because of low quality faulty products.

With this in mind you should avoid buying a cheap bio ethanol fireplace because often these products are low quality builds which are imported from China. As they are produced on a small budget you will often find that the welding and joints on the product are very low quality and are likely to fail at some point which could lead to ethanol leaks which can cause accidents.

You will also find that cheap fires often use very thin steel which means there is more danger of burning yourself from touching the fireplace as heat is too easily conducted through it.

Make Sure it is Properly Installed

When you buy your bio ethanol fire, it is crucial to ensure that it is properly secured to the wall (if it is a wall mounted model), if it is insecurely mounted this is extremely dangerous as it could fall when lit.

If you are not 100% confident that you can secure your fire to the wall then you should consult a professional as it is just not worth the risk.

Place Your Fire a Safe Distance Away From Flammable Objects

One of the great things about bio ethanol fires is that because they don’t require a chimney due to the clean burning ethanol fuel you can put them literally anywhere!

However this can cause problems if you don’t think carefully about where you are placing it. It is important to remember that ethanol fires burn with real flames so consequently you must place your fire well away from anything which is potentially flammable.

We recommend that you place your fire no closer than one metre (at least) from the nearest piece of furniture.

Don’t Buy a Fire With Cup Style Ethanol Storage

Another important safety consideration to bear in mind when making your purchase is to ensure that your fire doesn’t use a cup-style fuel storage system.

These systems store your bio ethanol fuel in a tub which sits inside your fireplace, the problem with these systems is that if you spill some fuel (as you are likely to do at some point) it will collect under and around the cup, as the fire heats up the fuel which has escaped will cause the cups to be pushed up which will result in all of your fuel being burned at once in a huge flame, not too dissimilar to a small explosion.

Obviously this could be potentially very dangerous and there are a good few stories of people getting burnt from these type of systems so please ensure that you check that any bio ethanol fire you use does not use one of these system.

Thankfully most modern models no longer use cups however you may find them in use on some cheap imports so please be aware of this, watch out for them and avoid them like the plague!

Keep Your Room Ventilated

One minor considerations to bear in mind is that your bio ethanol fire will burn up the oxygen in your room so it is a good idea to keep a window slightly open when you are using your fire to prevent anyone from experiencing any headaches or other problems associated with there not being enough oxygen in a room.

However to be honest unless your room is particularly small and your fire is particularly big this is unlikely to be a problem for most people.