Nine Firms Recall Fuel Gel After Fire, Burn Reports

We’ve been following reports about a number of serious injuries and at least one massive recall of pourable gel fuel. Now, 9 more manufacturers have announced recalls of pourable gel fuel, citing burn and flash fire hazards, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just announced. The recall is for all pourable gel fuels made or sold by these 9 companies and involves an estimated 2 million units of various pourable gel fuels.

Because of the serious risks of flash fire and burns posed by adding pourable gel to an already burning fire pot, consumers should immediately stop using the pourable gel fuel.

The various recalled pourable gel fuels are packaged in one-quart plastic bottles and one-gallon plastic jugs and sold in scented and non-scented formulations, which were sold since 2008 for between $5 and $20 by the following companies. These firms can be contacted for refund and return instructions:

• Bird Brain Inc./Ypsilanti, Michigan

• Bond Manufacturing/Antioch, California

• Sunjel Company (2 Burn Inc.)/Milwaukee

• Fuel Barons Inc./Lake Tahoe, Nevada

• Lamplight Farms Inc./Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

• Lumiosities Inc. (Windflame)/St. Paul, Minnesota

• Pacific Décor Ltd./Woodinwille, Washington

• Real Flame/Racine, Wisconsin:

• Smart Solar Inc./Oldsmar, Florida

The pourable gel fuel can ignite unexpectedly and splatter onto people and objects nearby when it is poured into a firepot that is still burning. CPSC is aware of 65 incidents resulting in two deaths and 34 victims hospitalized with second- and third-degree burns of the face, chest, hands, arms, or legs.

Of the 65 reported incidents, 28, including 37 burn injuries and two fatalities, occurred with fuel gel products made by Napa Home & Garden, which conducted a recall of its products in June 2011 and in cooperation with the CPSC. In June, the agency issued a press statement alerting consumers to the hazards of pourable gel fuels. All pourable gel fuels, regardless of manufacturer, pose flash fire hazards.

Consumers should not attempt to use or fix pourable gel fuel bottles with homemade remedies, or replace the fuel with other flammable materials. Retailers should stop sale of existing inventory and immediately remove all stock of pourable gel fuel from shelves. Some firms are working on a design for caps that may prevent flash fire hazards.

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