A series of serious accidents caused by fire pots’ gel fuel exploding when homeowners poured it into still hot pots has spurred an investigation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Several news reports called attention to the accidents, particularly one by the New York Times that profiled two incidents in June one week apart.
Napa Home & Garden, which made the fire pots in four of the accidents mentioned by the New York Times in a follow up article, has announced it’s pulling its gel burners and gel fuel from shelves. BirdBrain, named as the supplier in two accidents, was unavilable for comment and no announcement related to its fire pots was listed on its Web site except for a safety guide in its FAQ section.
Most of the injuries occurred when fuel was poured into pots that had burned out. When the cooler gel hit the heated pot, the gel spattered, sometimes explosively. The gel continued burning after it fell on the victims and was difficult to put out. Some of those injured are children, and several remained hosipitalized in burn units.