Safety warning issued after ethanol fireplace burns

AN investigation has been launched and a formal safety warning issued following several serious incidents involving ethanol fireplaces.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie urged owners to take extra care after several people recently suffered severe burns.

"Ethanol fireplaces are advertised as easy, smokeless and eco-friendly ways to keep warm, but some models have an open flame which can be difficult to see," Mr Bleijie said.

"Queensland Health has had several recent cases of explosions occurring because users have mistakenly believed the flame has gone out and tried to refuel or move it.

"Families' safety is paramount and, following discussions with Queensland Health, I have issued a formal safety warning notice to alert consumers to the potential danger of these products.

"The Office of Fair Trading has also launched an investigation into the products' safety. Its considerations may include the products' current safety standards and whether a ban or recall is warranted. The outcome of the investigation will be published as soon as possible.

"In the meantime, I would urge everyone to please be very careful when using these products, and keep children well clear.

"Keep the flame away from combustible materials such as clothes or curtains, and never throw anything combustible into the fireplace.

"Make sure the fireplace has had plenty of time to cool before attempting to move or refuel it."

Consumers should:

• Strictly follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe use.
• Never leave the product unattended while in use.
• Store fuel in a separate room to the fireplace.
• Have an appropriate fire extinguisher nearby.
• Never use the product for cooking.
• Never throw combustible objects at the fireplace.
• Always use the fuel recommended by the manufacturer.
The safety warning notice can be viewed online: http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/marketplace/product-safety/safety-warnings/ethanol-fireplaces



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