A recall is underway for a gel fuels used in decorative, ceramic fire pots. Ron Humphrey, with the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s office, says the gel fuel can ignite unexpectedly and splatter on anyone nearby.
“In the last month or so, we’ve had several reported incidents of people being injured by being burning from these things,” Humphrey said. Nationally, officials say they’re aware of 65 incidents resulting in two deaths and 34 victims who were hospitalized with burns.
Most of the incidents occurred when people were refilling the fire pots with the gel as the flame died down and appeared to be completely out. “When they put more fuel into it, it reignites and – for lack of a better word – explodes.
The fuel gets splattered on anybody standing next to it,” Humphrey said. The recall order also directs retailers to cease the sale of the gel fuel. Humphrey is encouraging Iowans to stop using the gel fuel or at least take notice of the potential danger.
“The big thing is never add fuel to (the fire pot) until you are sure it is out or completely cool,” Humphrey said. More information about the recall is available on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website: www.cpsc.gov