Ethanol Is Highly-Flammable But Safe With Right Installation
Ethanol is highly flammable. There is no doubt about that. It has its exact flashpoints, which can dangerously ignite if you do not act cautiously around them. However, if you follow the right procedure while setting up the ethanol fireplace, you can eliminate the danger and enjoy the innovative fireplace.
You must never do the following two things with an ethanol fireplace:
- Adding raw ethanol into a burning fireplace.
- Leaving ethanol spillage on the ground or other surfaces without cleaning up.
Nevertheless, an ethanol fireplace is entirely safe if you follow the right procedure of installation. You may not even need chimneys; neither will you need to worry about the possibility of suffocating under the byproducts of combustion. Ethanol does not produce dangerous fumes or carbon dioxide.
How to Install an Ethanol Fireplace Safely
It is always safe to read the User Guide Instruction on your ethanol fire appliance first before anything. That is not to say that it is the only thing you need to know. It is further from the truth. There are many other things that you ought to have at your fingertips too.
However, reading the User Guide Instruction alone is not enough. If you have a wooden wall or one made from any other flammable material, you can get scared after reading the user guide. In most cases, it instructs you not to install the appliance on a combustible surface without offering a practical solution.
You can still apply common sense to enhance safety. For instance, regardless of whether your wall is flammable or not, you should add fireproof material for insulation. You can add insulating materials such as cement board, steel sheet, wonder board, or any other to the area of interest.
Ethanol fireplaces can get really hot. Always ensure that you should guard against the effects of an extremely hot surface. You should not be worried since it can only burn you if you are careless enough to allow that to happen.
In addition to the insulating material, you may opt to paint the area around the ethanol fireplace with heat resistant paint. Too much heat can destroy the wall. So your paint should also be rusty-resistant and corrosion-free.
Select the location where you place your ethanol fireplace carefully. In areas where there is a lot of traffic, you may be putting it up as a potential hazard since innocent children may throw objects like toys inside. Pets may also get into the flame unexpectedly.
However, there is a possible solution to this possibility. You may consider adding a front safety glass that will act as a barrier to prevent anything or anyone from coming into the way of the flame. Some fireplace appliances come with the front safety glass as part of their package.
What Could Make Ethanol Fireplaces Dangerous?
While we understand that ethanol fireplaces cannot pose the risk of burns to you easily unless you are careless, we also acknowledge that they can be dangerous after all. You may observe all the precautionary measures while installing. However, a mistake that may not be of your doing may come to haunt you.
How is this possible?
People tend to use unscrupulous means to derive maximum profits from anything that is in popular demand. The popularity of ethanol fireplaces has been rising steadily in recent times. Fraudulent people have exploited this situation to introduce fake or low-quality products in the market.
Many such products originate from the Chinese market. Most distributors are not aware that they are dealing with fake products. Hence, they end up distributing unsafe products, which you purchase and install in your home without knowing.
That is the primary source of risk with ethanol fires. Despite taking safety measures, you may still potentially expose yourself to fire hazards due to going for cheap products. “Cheap is expensive,” as the famous adage says. Avoid rushing for low price products because of a simple desire to save some dollars.
Manufacturers of these cheap and faulty ethanol fireplaces do not put safety first in their production. To them, it is about how producing as many devices as possible. In the process, they use sub-standard parts in the manufacture.
They lure buyers easily with low prices on Amazon and other platforms. What is the use of rushing to buy something because the price appears cheap only for you to expose yourself to dangerous accidents that you could have avoided? It is better to buy something at a higher price but have assurance and confidence in the safety and durability of what you buy.
Avoid Some Old-Fashioned Models of Ethanol Fireplaces
There is some classical design of ethanol fireplaces that exposes users to obvious danger. These types of fireplace devices contain a metal cup that stores fuel ethanol. The cup’s design is not secure enough to prevent spillage of ethanol.
A mixture of emitted gases and hot ethanol has the potential of causing an explosion that will be dangerous. A device that uses burners is better compared to one that uses the cup system.
Avoid going for cheap fireplaces and always seek to check whether the product has quality and safety certifications. If possible, follow up with the testing process to confirm that the product has met safety standards.
Other safety measures apply to how you treat the fireplace. Ensure that when the fireplace is burning, you allow fresh air to come in through proper ventilation. Be careful when you want to pour ethanol into the fireplace. Avoid doing so when the fire is still burning because this could lead to unexpected explosions that may expose you badly.
Besides, always remember that ethanol fireplaces devices become so hot when burning is going on. Touching them with your bare hands or before they cool down is very dangerous and could badly burn your hands. Keep away all things that may catch fire. Where possible, install the fireplace in open places that are also spacious enough if possible.
Also, do not be tempted to taste the ethanol. I know… While there is a safe level of ethanol in alcohol, drinking raw ethanol will kill you, or if you are lucky, it will make you blind. So, do not consume some of the ethanol and hope to use an alternative fuel source in the fireplace. The design of this product is strictly and purely for ethanol use only.
We agree that ethanol fireplaces can be dangerous and can be safe, depending on how we operate with them and how we treat them. Buying cheap devices and failing to confirm certifications and product tests is one of the ways through which they can become dangerous. A good manufacturer will take their product through an elaborate process of product testing. The process requires a lot of money and time to complete. Hence, a genuine product will be more expensive compared to a fake one.
You have a personal obligation to ensure your safety even as you purchase these products. The level of safety in using ethanol fireplaces depends on the user. Make sure your usage practices enhance the safety of the device rather than increase the chances of danger.