Sitting in front of a fire can be warm and cozy. But Health Canada has a serious warning for Canadians about using firepots that require pourable alcohol-based fuels. There's a Health Canada firepot advisory because of the risk to health and safety.
Firepots, according to Health Canada, can also be called fire burners, portable fireplaces, fire bowls, patio burners, flame pots, firelights or tabletop fire pits.
The firepots are portable and made for both indoor and outdoor use. The risk to health and safety comes as a result of flame jetting when refuelling a lit firepot. Flame jetting happens quickly and flaming fuel can shoot out of the container and onto people and nearby objects.
Health Canada has gotten multiple incident reports of flame jetting causing serious burn injuries. Sometimes this can be fatal.
The agency confirmed to Narcity that they have been made aware of 12 flame jetting incidents as of October 9 that have resulted in two deaths and 26 burn injuries.
"Health Canada is informing consumers of the serious fire and burn risks associated with flame jetting occurrences that may result from the use of certain containers of pourable alcohol-based fuels and certain firepots that use those fuels," the agency stated in the warning.
The warning notes that you shouldn't use the products without safety features like using firepots on level ground, keeping them away from people and other items that are flammable, and keeping the fuel away from flames or other things that can cause a spark.
Because flame jetting happens so quickly, there's often no time for people to react and that means the risk of injury is higher. And the multiple burn injuries and deaths in the country worries Health Canada.
Doctors and people who have been impacted by injuries or deaths linked to flame jetting want tabletop ethanol burners to be banned completely until more safety measures are put in place to make sure nobody else gets injured or killed.
Even the Ontario Fire Marshall has gotten involved and issued a warning in September after numerous injuries and deaths in the province related to firepots and flame jetting.
The Health Canada warning isn't just for Canadians. The agency is talking directly to the industry about the harm done by these products.
"Health Canada is asking that industry stop selling these products of concern," the agency stated.
To ensure your safety while using products like this, Health Canada suggests never pouring fuel over a flame, using a snuffer to extinguish the flame, and using a flame arrestor that allows fuel to pour out and reduces the chance of flame jetting.