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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Thursday, September 1, 2011

amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

After State Fire Marshal Warning on Fire Pots, Pourable Gel Fuel is Recalled by CPSC

Des Moines, IOWA --- Today the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced there is a recall underway for all pourable gel fuel. This pourable gel fuel can ignite unexpectedly and splatter onto people and objects nearby when it is poured into a decorative fire pot.

For more information on the recall, please visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's web site and related press release.

Earlier this week, the Iowa Department of Public Safety-State Fire Marshal Division sent out a warning, urging citizens to use caution when lighting or burning decorative, gel-fueled fire pots. The Division of the State Fire Marshal had been alerted to the fact, several Iowans have been admitted to the University of Iowa Burn Unit as a result of using decorative, gel fire pots. 

Nationally, the CPSC is aware of 65 incidents resulting in two deaths and 34 victims who were hospitalized with second and third degree burns of the face, chest, hands, arms or legs. In Iowa there are a confirmed four adults who were treated for burns sustained why using the gel-fueld fire pots.

State Fire Marshal Special Agent in Charge Ron Humphrey says, “In most cases the danger arises when people are re-filling the fire pots with the gel, as the flame gets low and appears to be completely out.  Often times the flame is barely visible but still lit.  The fire pots burst into flames, spraying the gel fuel on anyone nearby.” 

The CPSC has also directed retailers to cease sale of the gel fuel, saying in its announcement, "Retailers should stop sale of existing inventory and immediately remove all stock of pourable gel fuel from shelves."

In the interest of safety, the State Fire Marshal Division recommends Iowans avoid using fire and combustible liquids to relax in your backyard this summer. Whether you have a gel-fueled fire pot or other outdoor candles or fire pits, remember fire can be a hazardous element. The Iowa Department of Public Safety reminds you to play it safe as you enjoy your summer and fall outside. 

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