Are Portable Ethanol Fireplaces Safe?

For the most part, yes—portable ethanol fireplaces are safe. But, as with any device or appliance that has an open flame, there are precautions you need to take.


It’s beautiful, but can be dangerous if not used properly. 


In recent years, the portable ethanol fireplace has made sitting by the fire, both indoors and outdoors, something that’s both easy to do and pleasant to look at. Some ethanol fireplaces are very attractive, using colored rocks or sleek chrome for a modern, clean look for inside the house and out.

What is ethanol anyway? It’s actually pretty cool—it’s a plant-based fuel product that does not release new carbon dioxide into the air. That means it’s much better for the environment than a wood fire, which causes all sorts of air pollution!

Ethanol fireplaces don’t let off as much heat as a wood-burning fire, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the same care and attention with an ethanol fire as you do with a traditional one. The fuel, the device, and the flame can all be dangerous. While we are in the business of restoring homes that have been damaged or destroyed by fire, that doesn’t mean we want it to happen. We are also committed to providing up-to-date safety precautions and education to Orange County homeowners, to prevent these disasters from ever happening to you.

Ethanol Fireplace Safety Tips

Please follow these simple steps for safety with your ethanol fireplace:

  1. Both the fuel and the portable ethanol burning fireplace should only be used by adults.
  2. Before lighting the fireplace, clean up any fuel spillage and be sure all liquid has evaporated.
  3. Use a utility lighter or long match to light the fire, not a cigarette lighter or short table match.
  4. The portable fireplace should never be left burning unattended by an adult.
  5. Always place the fireplace on a sturdy surface away from table edges.
  6. Never try to move a fireplace that is lit or still hot.
  7. Don’t pour ethanol fuel in a device that is lit or not completely cool. It may result in a fire or injury.
  8. Allow the device to cool down for at least 15 minutes before refueling.
  9. Extinguish the flame completely when you leave the room or property or turn in for the night.
  10. Keep anything that can burn, including children and pets, at least 3 feet from the fireplace.
  11. Store lighters and matches out of the reach of children, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  12. Store ethanol fuel in a closed container, away from open flame and out of the reach of children.
  13. Please note: It is not always easy to see the ethanol fuel’s flame. Always close the lid or use a snuffer to be sure the flame is extinguished before refueling into the cooled fireplace.
  14. Only use fuel made specifically for your fireplace.

If your Orange County home does get damaged or destroyed by fire, please call us immediately after the emergency services so we can help get your life back to normal as soon as possible.

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