They seem to be everywhere this summer – ceramic pots which use gel fuel are being sold at big box hardware stores, grocery store chains and discount stores. But just over a week after warning about serious burn dangers linked to these outdoor ceramic pots, known as firepots, the government on Wednesday announced the recall of nearly a half-million bottles and jugs of the gel fuel used in the patio decorations.
The problem is that 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. Because of the nature of the fuel, consumers apparently cannot always tell whether the flame in the firepots, which can burn blue or clear with little smoke, is completely extinguished. Pouring more gel on a still-burning pot can lead to dangerous flares or burns, the CPSC said.
On June 14, the CPSC issued a warning about firepots following two burn accidents in New York. Both victims, a teenager and a man in his 20s, suffered serious injuries.
About 460,000 bottles and jugs of gel fuel are being recalled. They were distributed by Napa Home & Garden of Duluth, Ga., and sold at Bed Bath & Beyond, Restoration Hardware, and other home and garden stores between December 2009 and June 2011.
The commission said Napa is aware of 37 reports of incidents, including 23 burn injuries to consumers. Consumers are being told to stop using the recalled pourable gel fuel immediately and return the bottles or jugs to the retailer where the products were purchased for a full refund.