skip to content

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Safety warning after Bio-Ethanol incident

22/07/2015

Firefighters have issued a warning over the use of Bio-Ethanol burners after a man suffered serious injuries during an incident in Stafford.

"We have had a few incidents in the same circumstances as this one with the consequences being at best extremely serious and at worst, fatal. This particular situation occurred when one of the people at the gathering was refilling the burner as it appeared to have gone out. As the man squirted fuel into the burner, there was a loud bang and flames shot out at the victim."

Station Manager Neil Burton

The casualty was visiting friends at their home on The Saltings, Baswich Lane, when a table-top Bio-Ethanol burner exploded while being re-fuelled.

It is believed that the man suffered approximately 25 per cent burns and was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Station Manager Neil Burton said: “We have had a few incidents in the same circumstances as this one with the consequences being at best extremely serious and at worst, fatal.

"This particular situation occurred when one of the people at the gathering was refilling the burner as it appeared to have gone out. As the man squirted fuel into the burner, there was a loud bang and flames shot out at the victim.

"I would warn people not to underestimate the potential hazards linked to this extremely flammable type of fuel. Always keep the burner away from combustible materials as the fuel can burn without a visible flame, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions."

The incident occurred on Sunday, July 12. However, the Service was not informed by those involved until a later date.

Advice for the use of Bio Ethanol burners includes:

•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 the fuel container for damage and never use if it is leaking
•Clean up 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