Issue 185, September 4, 2019
ETHANOL-FUELED APPLIANCES POSE SERIOUS FIRE SAFETY RISKS
On August 30, 2019, Ontario’s Fire Marshal Jon Pegg issued a Public Safety Message alerting Ontarians to the significant fire safety risks associated with ethanol-fueled appliances, commonly known as tabletop fire features or pots. A fire hazard, called flame-jetting, occurs as fuel vapours are ignited when refueling these appliances that are not fully extinguished, and a flame is not readily visible.
Ontario has recorded multiple fatalities and serious injuries related to the refueling of these ethanol---fueled appliances this year. Since 2016, the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management (OFMEM) has conducted eleven fire investigations that involved the use of these appliances.
Ethanol-fueled appliances are currently sold across the province and throughout the rest of Canada. The fire service is reminded of the following safety tips, provided in the Fire Marshal’s Public Safety Message, that outline how people can help prevent flame-jetting and protect themselves when using these appliances:
• Make sure any flames in an ethanol-fueled appliance are fully out and that the appliance is cold to the touch before refueling
• Only refuel when no one is near the appliance
• When refueling, use a fuel container that has a flame arrestor.
The public safety video has been developed by the OFMEM, which demonstrates how flame-jetting and serious injuries can occur, can also be used to support local education and awareness efforts related to the safe use of these appliances.
David Renner, Fire Chief