Did you know that using an ethanol fireplace carries the risks of getting burned, starting a fire and suffering carbon monoxide intoxication?
Ethanol fireplaces are becoming more and more popular in Quebec. They are now available through fireplace stores, hardware stores and furniture stores. They come in different forms: fireplace inserts, freestanding in steel frames, wall-mount and even portable.
Ethanol fireplaces should not be used for heat. They are decorations, and should be limited to occasional use.Ethanol, also called bio-ethanol and ethyl alcohol, releases vapours that are flammable at room temperature. Moreover, while burning, it can generate carbon monoxide and other harmful gases. This means that you should be sure to have a portable fire extinguisher, as well as a carbon monoxide detector, not to mention a smoke detector, all of them in good working order.
Lighting, filling and using your fireplace can result in burns and fires. To avoid such accidents, be sure to follow these basic safety rules:
Be careful when you fill the reservoir:
In Gatineau, any ethanol fireplace that can hold more than 250 ml must be manufactured in accordance with the ULC/ORD-C627.1, Unvented Ethyl Alcohol Fuel Burning Decorative Appliances standards. When purchasing a unit, make sure that it carries a Canadian Standards Association certification label, because it is prohibited to install or use an ethanol fireplace that is not certified. A unit that does not carry the label is deemed to be not certified.
Attention: Ethanol fireplaces are not recommended for people with respiratory problems because their use can cause some indoor pollution. This pollution can come from unburned ethanol, the presence of additives in the fuel and combustion by-products.
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