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Decorative alcohol fuelled burners (ethanol burners)

Information for consumers

Dangers of ethanol burners

A number of serious burn injuries have been recorded in Australia due to the use of decorative alcohol fueled burners, also known as ethanol burners.

Ethanol burners are designed for domestic use. The devices are primarily used for decoration, although larger models may provide heating.

There are three common types of ethanol burners, including:

  • table top devices (small and designed to sit on a table)
  • freestanding devices (larger and heavier than table top devices)
  • fixed devices, often referred to as ‘fireplaces’ (require installation in a fixed position, and are usually wall-mounted or recessed).

If you own an ethanol burner that does not meet mandatory safety standards, we strongly recommend you stop using it.

Information for businesses

Mandatory safety standard prevents sale of unsafe burners

The mandatory safety standard, which came into effect on 15 July 2017, prevents the sale of unsafe ethanol burners.

The mandatory standard requires ethanol burners to:

  • be a permanent fixture or have a dry weight of at least 8 kilograms and a footprint of at least 900 square centimetres
  • meet the stability test set out in the European standard available from the SAI Global website
  • come with a fuel container with a flame arrester or an automatic fuel pump system
  • carry a prescribed warning.
Updated: 27 May 2020

This page has been produced and published by the Consumer Building and Occupational Services Division of the Department of Justice. Although every care has been taken in production, no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy, completeness, or relevance to the user's purpose of the information. Those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify it with the relevant government department, local government body or other source and to obtain any appropriate professional advice. The Crown, its officers, employees and agents do not accept liability however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance upon the information and/or reliance on its availability at any time.