How to Use Gel Fireplace Fuel
Gel fireplace fuel is perfect for anyone who wants the look and ambiance of a fireplace, but doesn’t want to go through the hassle of cutting holes and doing construction to their house in order to accommodate a chimney or stove pipe. While gel fireplaces put off little heat, they do provide the soft flicker of flame like a normal fireplace and give off little or no smoke or odors. The gel itself is an alcohol based material and can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Follow the steps below each time the gel fireplace is used to ensure the gel burns as safely as possible.
Step 1 – Storage
After purchasing fireplace gel fuel canisters, keep them in a safe place away from children. It’s not necessary that the location be fireproof, but it is better if it is. Treat the gel like any other combustible chemical such as paint thinner or rubbing alcohol.
Step 2 – Clean the Fireplace
Before placing the canisters in the fireplace, make sure that the metal box they are to sit in is clean. If there is debris in the box, it could catch fire and cause the fireplace to malfunction. An easy way to clean these metal boxes is with a can of compressed air. Simply fit the nozzle into the open at the top of the box and blow out any materials that may have fallen in it.
Step 3 – Place the Gel Canisters
Place the one or two gel canisters in the metal box of the gel fireplace. Never use more than two gel canisters at once, because the heat of three or more burning gel canisters may melt or warp the metal box they sit within and keep the box from being able to contain the fire. When placing the canisters, be sure that they are sitting flat and are stable. This reduces the chances that they could tip over.
Step 4 – Remove the Caps
Remove the caps from the top of gel cans and inspect the gel within. If the gel appears to have hardened on top or if it has been used before, use a metal stirring device like a screwdriver or piece of a wire hanger to stir the gel. The stir stick must be metal so that it does not absorb any of the gel and become a fire hazard itself. When finished stirring, wash the stirring device with water to clean it. Do not simply wipe it clean with a cloth, since this will make the cloth a flammable hazard.
Step 5 – Light the Gel
Be aware of the fireplace’s surrounding. Make sure that there are no curtains, cabinets, or other flammables that may be above the fireplace where the flames may be able to light them on fire. Once the fireplace is in a good place, use a long match or long electric lighter to carefully light the gel.
Step 6 – Replace the Cap
When finished using the gel fireplace, replace the caps on the gel canisters to snuff the flames.