On September 1, 2011, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) announced nine manufacturers and distributors had agreed to a voluntary recall of all pourable gel fuels they produced. The recall came in response to dozens of reports of flash fires and burns caused by the gel fuel, including at least 2 deaths and 34 hospitalizations. The pourable gel fuel can ignite unexpectedly and splatter onto people and objects nearby when it is poured into a firepot that is still burning. Gel fuel fires have also occurred when the gel fuel was added to an extinguished firepot and through the explosion of a fuel gel bottle several feet away from any flame.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product & Safety Commission website:
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Napa Home & Garden Recalls Their Fuel Gels
In June, the CSPC announced that Napa Home and Garden had agreed to voluntarily recall their fuel gels. Napa Home and Garden was joined in September by Bird Brain Inc. of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Bond Manufacturing of Antioch, California, Sunjel Company of Milwaukee, Fuel Barons Inc. of Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Lamplight Farms Inc. of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Luminosities Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota, Pacific Decor Ltd. Of Woodinville, Washington, Real Flame of Racine, Wisconsin, and Smart Solar USA of Oldsmar, Florida. Without explanation, the Marshall Group of Elkhart, Indiana backed out of the recall agreement at the last minute, even though its gel fuels have been linked to horrific burn injuries.
Gel Burn Victims
Gel fuel burn victims can be found across the country, including two school teachers in Troup County, Georgia who were severely burned in separate gel fuel flash fires.
Pope McGlamry is vigorously representing a burn victim who was severely burned as a result of a fuel gel fire involving PatioGlo bio-fuel gel sold by The Marshall Group of Elkhart, Indiana and is actively investigating other gel fuel burn injury claims against other manufacturers. If you or a loved one have been injured by exploding fuel gel in fire pots or other decorative lighting, contact us for a free evaluation of your claim.