Household product tested: Dangerous or Not?

Gel fuel put to test. / Jessica Fairley

Albany fire officials are testing a product that's been deemed by some as dangerous.

When facing a lit fire pot, you may not be able to see it burning, but if you look closer, you can see the fire is there. People have been using fire pots to add ambiance to their environment, not knowing about the danger that's boils inside.

"The flame that it produces is an invisible flame and that is inherent danger in this product," said Albany Fire Department Training Division Captain Eugene Anderson.

Once Albany Fire Department officials realized the threat, they took it amongst themselves to test the item and use the results to train emergency staff, but unlike real life, firefighters came prepared for the test.

"We were fully protected with a line charge and fire department personnel on hand because it can get even worse," said Training Division Deputy Chief Reuben Jordan.

Reenacting a real life scene, they set up an experiment as if someone were attempting to refill a pot that looks empty.

"That assumption will make them go up on it and do things that they shouldn't do," said Captain Anderson.

As fuel is poured into the cylinder, disaster strikes. Flames ignite the shirt, causing it to burn at a rapid pace. Officials say this is why they're warning consumers about gel.

Do not disregard or throw away the direction because if you throw away the direction then how do you use the pot the way that it is supposed to be used," explained Anderson

Captain Anderson says education is the key to using the product properly.

Real Flame Company, an organization that produces a type of gel fuel, says consumers should be aware that there are different formulations of gel fuel on the market and each has different burning characteristics.

According to a press release from the company, they agree that consumers should carefully read all labels and direction before using gel fuel or any flammable product. The company says all fire-related products should be treated with extreme care and caution.

Officials with the Albany Fire Department say people wanting to know more information or safety tips about this product should check out the website for the Consumer Product Safety Commission.