2011 Real Flame Pour Gel Fuel Consumer Recall and Retail Advisory


Voluntary Safety Recall

If used incorrectly, vapors may ignite inside bottle, causing a flare up. Those who have purchased bottled pour gel fireplace fuel are asked to call the recall hotline for information and instructions related to these products.

If you have any questions or concerns please call:
Monday thru Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 EST

Real Flame Company

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Real Flame is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to recall Pourable Gel Fuel as this product was recently found to be hazardous to consumers. We are working with the CPSC to form a corrective action plan where consumers will be able to receive refunds for any unused product. We expect to provide additional details on how to participate in the recall as soon as possible, but no later than September 12, 2011.

This comes on the heels of another product recall from another manufacturer, but is relevant in both scope and the manner in which the recall was implemented. The recall of Yellowstone's dishwashing formulation was also a first - this recall involved a dish soap supplier. The product involved was Smash, a dishwashing detergent. A faulty batch run resulted in about 900,000 units being distributed to stores with a concentration of an anti-bacterial agent above the FDA standards. The soap caused skin reactions ranging from minor itching to significant blistering triggered by contact. Real Flame was a supplier of the anti-bacterial agents and was lauded for the prompt attention to the consumer complaints. The soap was withdrawn completely from the market and Smash was discontinued.


What products are being recalled?
Individual bottles of both products as well either partially used or full.

  • Model 2164-Real Flame Pour gel – 8 pack 29.98 oz bottles
  • Model 2165-Real Flame Citronella Pour gel – 8 pack 29.98 oz bottles

Is the Agency Forcing Real Flame to recall the products?
It is a voluntary recall that Real Flame is participating in.

What does the CPSC say in regards to the pour gel fuel?
“The technical analysis of the Subject Product reveals that the design of the pourable gel fuel container fails to prevent flashback scenarios during use with firepots.”

What does the Consumer / Retailer need to do?
- Retailers
Contact 866-918-8766 with any questions.
Contact 866-918-8766 with any questions.

Have there been any injuries or illnesses with Real Flame pour gel?
Real Flame pour gel fuels have not been involved in a single accident or injury.

Are all Real Flame products affected by the recall?

  • No not at all! ONLY Pour gel fuels are affected (model 2164/2165).
  • Real Flame canned gel fuels(model2101-13oz cans, model2122-7oz cans) are NOT in the recall.
  • Ceramic firepots, or any other personal fireplaces are also NOT included in the recall.
  • Real Flame model2122-7oz cans can be used with many of the personal fireplaces, in replace of burn cup and pour gel.

Have you stopped shipping the products that have been recalled?
Yes, we have stopped shipping the pour gel and notified the Retailers, who purchased the fuel, of the recall.

When will Real Flame resume shipping of the pour gel?
Once we have a CPSC approved container to dispense the product.

What happened to cause this issue to get to this point?
CPSC is aware of 59 incidents resulting in two deaths and 34 injuries. None of these involved Real Flame gel fuels!

Real Flame Cooperates With Consumer Product Safety Commission Gel Fuel


RACINE, Wis., Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Statement from John Ridgeway, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, for Real Flame:

"We are confident in the strong safety record of Real Flame pourable gel fuel products. Still, we are complying with the CPSC ban, and will be working to further ensure consumer safety through improved labeling and bottling per the CPSC's recommendation. In our 27 years of producing gel fuels, including two and a half years of pour gel production, there has not been one report of a burn injury involving Real Flame gel fuels.

As we have stressed since the first incident occurred earlier this summer, consumer safety has always been paramount at our company and we have carefully tested our product for safety. As a result, the composition of our pourable gel fuel has a different fuel source, burn properties and flash point from most other such products.

Real Flame is extremely confident in its exclusive gel fuel formulations. We have cooperated, and will continue to cooperate, with the CPSC. If the CPSC produces a video and provides Real Flame with an understanding of how it was put together and what brand of gel fuel was used in the recorded tests, we will consider supporting the distribution of a video by CPSC. It is important that there is an understanding that no one brand of pourable gel fuel has the same formulation and burn characteristics as another brand.

We continue to be confident in the safety of our product, and concur that the safety of consumers is the most important consideration.

Moving forward, we will continue to cooperate with the labeling and bottling changes sought by the CPSC to enhance consumer safety, and look forward to providing consumers with an even safer product."

About Real Flame Company

For nearly 30 years, Real Flame Company, of Racine, Wis., has been the leader in the production and sale of gel-fueled fireplaces and accessories. All of its products are manufactured to the highest standards and, of course, safety is the top priority in all of its designs. Real Flame's Gel Fuel is an exclusive premium alcohol-based blend that requires no ventilation when burned. No chimney, no gas hookups and no electricity needed. Tested and approved for indoor and outdoor use, Real Flame Gel Fuel meets all clean air requirements established by both OSHA and the EPA.

Some Background History Leading to This Recall

In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began receiving numerous reports of property damage and, more important, catastrophic second and third degree burns allegedly caused by the gel fire pots exploding.

In 2011 U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the government’s product safety watchdog, urged people to stop using decorative fuel gels that had caused dozens of injuries and two deaths. But the manufacturers agreed to recall the gels only after Consumer Product Safety Commission promised it would not show a video of the products exploding in a testing lab.

CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum announced that nine companiesincluding Real Flame, had agreed to recall about 2 million jugs of the gel, which is poured into ceramic fire pots and ignited to create candlelight for decorative effect. The CPSC has recorded two deaths and 75 injuries, including 34 people hospitalized with second- and third-degree burns from flash fires and explosions caused by the gel.
“Consumers should immediately stop using these products,” Tenenbaum said.

This site was originally created to inform and educate consumers regarding the recall of pourable gel fuel products including those manufactured by Real Flame. Multiple lawsuits have been filed across the United States over alleged fire pot explosions. Reports have surfaced that certain brands of fire pots and fuel gel pots pose a serious safety hazard. Fire pots are designed to be refillable, with the retailer FireGel marketing the product as “the Safe Pourable Gel.” In theory, when a fire pot has used all of its fuel, users can refill the gel fuel and relight the pot. However, in situations where the fire pots have not completely gone out, fuel can ignite and explode while it is being poured, posing a serious risk to anyone nearby. Fire pots do not have a wick and, as such, it can be difficult to ascertain whether they are already lit, according to some injured users. According to one report, some users have confused fire pots with citronella candles, believing that fuel can be poured in if no flame is visible. Unfortunately, this can lead to sudden explosions and serious injuries.

This particular recall may be over, however I believe that consumers should remain aware of such recalls, if for no other reason than for historical purposes.