The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission launched an investigation into gel fuels in mid-June and recalled nearly a half-million containers made by Napa Home & Garden sold under the FIREGEL and NAPAfire brands. The agency determined the fuels pose a serious “flash fire hazard” and urge consumers to stop using them.
Two weeks ago Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan vocally and very publicly lobbied the CPSC to ban gel fuels and recall other brands.
“Recalling these items one by one won’t cut it,” Madigan said at the time. “In the midst of the summer season, many of these fuel gel products are already in people’s homes and backyards. We need to work quickly to alert consumers about the extreme dangers they pose.”
The CPSC wants retailers to pull all gel fuel from their shelves, regardless of manufacturer, and noted that some of the companies are working on designing the caps to their containers to try to prevent the risk of flash fire.
The CPSC timed its announcement just ahead of Labor Day — the traditional last big weekend of summer. The agency is urging consumers to stop using the pourable fuel, which comes in quart and gallon containers.
The product apparently is at its most dangerous when being used over an already burning flame.
“Due to the serious risks of flash fire and burns when consumers add pourable gel to an already burning fire pot, consumers should immediately stop using the pourable gel fuel,” the agency said in its recall announcement.
The gel fuel being recalled has been sold since 2008 for $5-$20 by the following companies:
- Bird Brain Inc., of Ypsilanti, Mich.
- Bond Manufacturing, of Antioch, Calif.
- Sunjel Company (2 Burn Inc.), of Milwaukee
- Fuel Barons Inc. of Lake Tahoe, Nev.
- Lamplight Farms Inc, of Menomonee Falls, Wis.
- Luminosities Inc (Windflame), of St. Paul, Minn.
- Marshall Group, of Elkhart, Ind.
- Pacific Décor Ltd., of Woodinwille, Wash.
- Real Flame, of Racine, Wis.
- Smart Solar USA, of Oldsmar, Fla.
If you have gel fuel from any of the above companies, contact the manufacturer for information about getting a refund.