Fireplace Services in Suffolk from RFC Services | Bio Ethanol Fireplaces in Suffolk


One of the most recent additions to the eco-conscious UK home heating market is the bio ethanol fireplace. Bio ethanol fireplaces use fuel made from sugar beets and other cereal crops to create an effective method of heating that is less environmentally damaging than fossil fuels. In this guide we aim to show you how to use a bio ethanol fireplace in a safe manner from filling up to putting out.

Before Operation

To be completely safe during the operation of your fireplace, let’s look at some important things to remember before ignition:

  • Before operating the fireplace, read thoroughly through your manual or instructions.
  • Only use bioethanol fuel that has been formulated for use with your fireplace. Avoid other fuels such as car fuels, gel fuels or solids like wood and charcoal.
  • Make sure the burner box and bio fire housing are empty and free of any dust or moisture before use. Make sure they are also kept on flat surfaces about 2m away from any flammable or combustible materials such as curtains, furniture, and aerosol sprays.
  • Keep your fireplace away from wind sources that could blow flames towards flammable materials. We recommend keeping a 60cm distance between your fire and other items and materials to reduce the risk of fire damage.
  • Always keep an ethanol fire extinguisher nearby just in case.
  • Never fill your burner box with fuel if it is already lit or still hot as this can cause a fire risk.
  • Make sure you only fill your burner box up to the max line. Never overfill your burner box beyond this level.
  • Use either an extended taper or refillable safety lighters to light the fire at arm’s length. This will greatly reduce the risk of your clothes or hair catching fire.
  • If any fuel is spilled when filling the burner box, make sure to clean it up before lighting the fire.

How to Fill Your Bio Ethanol Fireplace

Unlike wood burning stoves, each bio ethanol fireplace will have a different method when it comes to putting fuel in. There are a range of different ways you can fill your fireplace.

If your fireplace has a manual burner with no power connection, then you will need to fill it by hand. Use a pump or funnel when filling the burner to avoid any spillages. If you do spill any fuel, make sure to wipe it away before lighting the fire. Always extinguish the flame and wait at least 15 minutes before refuelling your fireplace.

Automatic burners will often have an external fuel tank which the built-in fuel tank draws from. Some automatic burners require special tools such as pumps for refuelling. If so, these will often come with the burner itself. Otherwise, use a funnel to apply the fuel safely. These burners will often have automatic features that will prevent you from refuelling when the flame is lit or the box is still hot. This helps to reduce the risk of fire damage.

Fire Safety Pointers

As you are using an appliance that relies on naked flames to achieve the desired heating effects, there are some things to keep in mind when using a bioethanol fireplace to keep you, your loved ones and your property safe:

  • Ensure your bioethanol fireplace is regularly serviced and maintained.
  • Make sure to never leave your fire unattended. Always put the fire out before you leave the room.
  • Make sure the room is well ventilated. The fuel will give off water vapour, steam, and carbon dioxide when lit. While the carbon dioxide is within environmentally friendly levels, you should always ensure it is supplemented with fresh air.
  • Make sure there are no air draughts nearby that could cause flare ups. Avoid blowing on the fire for the same reason.
  • Keep a 1 metre distance away from the fireplace when lit, and make sure children and pets are always kept at a safe distance.
  • Avoid physical contact with the fuel. If fuel does get on your skin, make sure to wash it off thoroughly as soon as possible.
  • If you notice any cracks or corrosion on the burner box, replace it as soon as possible to avoid problems.

What To Avoid Using Near a Lit Bioethanol Fireplace

A part of knowing how to use a bio ethanol fireplace is knowing what to use near one. Never use bio ethanol fireplaces in the following circumstances:

  • Inside caravans, boats, or vehicles.
  • In unventilated rooms.
  • For cooking food or boiling water.
  • If you are under the effects of alcohol, drugs, or medication.
  • When flammable materials such as paper and fabric are nearby.
  • If any bottles of bioethanol fuel or lighters are nearby.
  • If you have any flammable gas nearby.

How to Put Out Your Bio Ethanol Fireplace

Oftentimes the safest way to put out a bio ethanol fire is to let it burn out naturally. Otherwise, use the closing rod to slide the mechanism over the flame to put it out instead. If the flame remains, slowly pull the mechanism back and repeat the process until done.

Wait a few seconds for the flame to extinguish. Even when the flame is out, avoid touching any part of the fireplace for 30 minutes until it has cooled down. You could risk burning yourself otherwise!

Do not add any additional biofuel until the firebox has completely cooled down.

How to Safely Store Biofuel

Even though bioethanol fuel is a more eco-conscious choice than fossil fuels, they are flammable, and when mishandled they are dangerous. As a result, it is best to handle and store with a safety-first approach:

  • Read the storage instructions and keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • Keep the fuel tightly sealed in a cool, dry place away from any appliances.
  • Do not keep any bottles of fuel near the fireplace.
  • Keep any clothing or other flammable items away from your biofuel.
  • Make sure the biofuel is at room temperature (above 10 degrees Celsius) before use.
  • Should you sustain any burns, have difficulty breathing or accidently consume the biofuel during usage, contact your local doctor or hospital immediately.

Here at RFC Services, we have a wide range of environmentally friendly bio ethanol fireplaces on offer. To find out more about our range, or to learn more about how to use a bio ethanol fireplace, please get in touch with our expert team today.

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