Is a bioethanol fire dangerous?

One of the most common questions we get regarding biofireplaces are concerned with whether a biofireplace is dangerous. It is a question which makes sense as the pivot point of a biofireplace is fire, which can be dangerous. 

Whether you have a biofireplace or you are considering buying one, it is important to understand the fire risks that can appear when using a biofireplace. This article will be concerned with the three most common hazards which a biofireplace may cause and how you can avoid them.

Spilt liquid during filling of the burner

A common problem with having a biofireplace is the spilling of bioethanol outside of the burning chamber during filling/refilling. Bioethanol can behave in a different way than other liquids such as water when pouring, because it can be tricky to pour directly into the opening of the burner without spilling. 

If you ignite a biofireplace where bioethanol is spilt outside the burning chamber, you may risk having an uncontrollable flame which you cannot put out.

Therefore, in order for you to avoid spilling bioethanol outside the burning chamber, we recommend using either a funnel or a bioethanol pump. If you already have spilt some bioethanol outside the burning chamber, it is important that you quickly wipe away the bioethanol and make sure you neither have any bioethanol residues on your clothes or hands. 

You can find our guide to filling a biofireplace here.

Spilled bioethanol
Wipe away bioethanol

Bioethanol for bio fireplaces

Filling of bioethanol on a hot burner

This is something that you must never do or experiment with. When igniting bioethanol it is the fumes that burn. Therefore, if you fill bioethanol into a hot burner the evaporation will begin before you ignite the burner. This can result in a spurt of flame effect that potentially can be very dangerous. 

Therefore we recommend to always adhere to the following instructions when filling a burner with bioethanol:

1. Put out the flame by pulling the lid on top of the flame.

2. Wait minimum 10 minutes after the biofireplace has been turned off before you start the filling of bioethanol.

3. Use a funnel or a bioethanol pump when the burner needs to be filled/refilled

4. Check that no bioethanol has been spilt outside the burning chamber during the filling

If you follow these simple steps, you secure that:

- You do not pour bioethanol into a hot burning chamber

- You do not pour bioethanol into an ignited biofireplace. 

These are some simple steps, which you under all circumstances should follow, in order to minimize the chance of a dangerous situation to occur during filling/refilling

Overfilling the bio fireplace burner

The third hazard is also related to the filling/refilling of the burning chamber. In order to avoid this hazard, it is important to follow the instructions that is enclosed with the biofireplace. The majority of the burning chambers is attached with a MAX indicator which shows the maximum amount of bioethanol you are allowed to fill in the chamber. 

If the burning chamber is not fitted with a max indicator that shows how much bioethanol you are allowed to fill, a good rule of thumb is not to fill the chamber more than you can see 1 cm of the edge.

If you overfill the burning chamber with bioethanol you may risk having an uncontrollable flame which can be difficult to put out. Furthermore, if you overfill the burning chamber you also risk spilling some bioethanol outside of the chamber if the biofireplace is accidentally pushed.

At many of our bio fireplaces are build in a way that if you overfill the burning chamber, the bioethanol will not be spilt on the table or the floor, but instead the bioethanol will run into another container which the burning chamber is placed in. 

Furthermore are every burner and burning chamber equipped with fibercotton that aid in retaining the bioethanol to the chamber, which minimizes the risk of spilling bioethanol if the biofireplace is accidentally pushed. 

Bioethanol burner close up
Bioethanol burner with fibercotton

Vauni Globe


So is a biofireplace dangerous? Not more than a regular fireplace. As long as you are using your common sense, follows the instructions and handling the open fire with care you should not be afraid to install a biofireplace in your home. 

Every biofireplace sold at is furthermore approved and certified with the German security clearance TÜV. Therefore, if you buy your biofireplace at you are ensured a safe product that has been tested and approved by the current regulations.