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Accession Number PB2013-111626
Title Evaluation of Firepots and Gel Fuels.
Publication Date Mar 2013
Media Count 13p
Personal Author N. D. Marsh
Abstract The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has identified a fire and burn hazard associated with a class of products often referred to as firepots, which has been associated with 2 deaths and 114 injuries as of August 31, 2012. The objective of this report is to define the firepot safety problems and to identify potential technical mitigation approaches that would benefit from further study. The essential feature of this class of products, relative to the burn hazard, is the open-ended design of the fuel reservoir, which is both the location for adding fuel and the intended location of the flame. An exacerbating factor in firepot accidents is the fuel viscosity, which in some fuels is increased artificially (to create gel fuel). A typical spill of ethanol from a firepot could have a heat release rate on the order of 130 kW and a mean flame height on the order of 1 m, based on pool fire theory. The safety of alcohol-fueled heat and light sources could be improved if they were subject to performance standards similar to those for candles. In addition, alcohol-based fuels could be separated into two categories: a high-viscosity fuel for non-refillable fuel containers, and a low-viscosity pourable fuel with a required integral flame arrestor on the fuel storage container.
Keywords Burns
Consumer protection
Fire safety
Heat release rate
Product labeling

Source Agency National Institute of Standards and Technology
NTIS Subject Category 97K - Fuels
81A - Combustion & Ignition
96D - Consumer Affairs
Corporate Author National Inst. of Standards and Technology (EL), Gaithersburg, MD. Fire Research Div.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1326
Contract Number N/A

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