Yes, absolutely. Its a real flame, so you need to exercise common sense. You need to treat them with the same level of care as any open fire source (ensuring any flammable items are out of reach, not touching the flame or surround when it is alight). We strongly advise that you read the manual supplied with your bioethanol fireplace. Please contact us if you need another copy and we would be more than happy to supply one. If you want further advice on remaining safe around a Biofire, you can read our more detailed article : www.imaginfires.co.uk/blog/how-to-safely-use-a-bioethanol-fireplace
Will a bioethanol fireplace trigger my smoke alarm?
High-quality bioethanol fuel burns cleanly, meaning it doesn’t produce smoke, ash, soot, or any mess. So, as long as you use your bioethanol fireplace in line with our safety guidance, it won’t produce smoke and — therefore — won’t set off your smoke alarm.
As long as you burn bioethanol approved for use in bioethanol fireplaces, it’s completely safe to burn in the home as a heat source.
Will my bioethanol fireplace trigger my carbon monoxide alarm?
As long as you burn bioethanol approved for indoor use, such as ImagiFuel, you can be safe knowing that your fire won’t produce carbon monoxide.
And while burning bioethanol fuel produces some carbon dioxide, it’s only the same amount as you’d create from burning two candles. You’ll find that your houseplants thrive because they absorb carbon dioxide from the air to help them photosynthesise.
Bioethanol uses oxygen in the air to complete combustion, so we recommend opening an internal door while burning to maximise oxygen flow. If the room feels stuffy, open a window for a couple of minutes to encourage airflow.
However, some customers install carbon monoxide alarms in the same room as their biofire for peace of mind.
Some tips for safe bioethanol fuel use
Your bioethanol fireplace won’t produce smoke.
So, if you do spot smoke coming from your fireplace, we recommend you check:
Nothing has fallen into the fuel box, such as paper or anything else flammable (apart from bioethanol fuel).
You’re using a high-grade bioethanol fuel specifically manufactured for bioethanol fireplaces. Never use gels, fragrance oils, or other non-approved fuels in your biofire. However, we supply scented bioethanol if you want a pleasant ambient aroma.
Nothing is obstructing or restricting the burn area of your fuel box. Keep all accessories, such as ceramic logs and stones, away from the burning aperture — this could affect combustion quality.
All accessories placed inside or on top of your biofire are designed for exposure to heat and flame. All ImaginFires accessories are suitable for use inside the burning chamber, but we are aware that other inferior products have triggered smoke alarms. Remove any non-approved accessory if your smoke alarm sounds.
Controlling your bioethanol flame is simple because your ImaginFires fireplace comes installed with a specialist fuel box.
The stainless steel fuel box has a shutter that you close to shut off the flame. This provides way more control over the heat output and fuel efficiency than a traditional wood-burning stove or open fire.
You can actually switch your bioethanol fireplace OFF before you go to bed, saving money on wasted fuel.
Controlling your bioethanol flame
You’ll find that a litre of premium-quality bioethanol fuel will last for around 3.5-4 hours with the heat aperture fully open. Your biofire running at full flame produces around 3kWh of heat - roughly equivalent to an electric fire on medium.
Of course, a thermostatically-controlled electric fire typically switches itself on and off to maintain your desired heat, so you may find that your biofire warms your room too much at full aperture.
Running your bioethanol fireplace at half-flame
It’s possible to control your biofire by half-closing the shutter, which reduces the heat output and the size of the flame.
However, we have found that the yellowness of the flame increases when you half-close the heating aperture, so you still get that beautiful cosy flame effect without too much heat.
How to extinguish the flame on my biofire safely
When you purchase an ImaginFire bioethanol fireplace, you’ll receive accessories that help operate your fire safely, including a specially designed “hook” that you should use to close your fire’s shutter. This extinguishes the flame immediately, but you should leave it for a couple of minutes to cool down before refilling.
Always use the supplied tool to extinguish the flame. Never use your hands or any body part to do this, as the fuel box will be very hot.
And do not move the bio fire until the stainless steel fuel box has cooled.
We recommend leaving at least 45cm between the television and the fireplace if you’re installing a TV above a bioethanol fireplace. And whilebioethanol fireplaces don’t get as hot as traditional wood or coal burners, they still give off plenty of heat, which could damage a TV if hung too close.
Closed-top bioethanol fireplaces
For the safest installation, choose a bioethanol fireplace with a closed top, such as our wall-mountedMarlow range, which adds a stylish, contemporary aesthetic to any room. Alternatively, select one of our wood-burner-style freestanding fireplaces, such as the Hampton or Malvern, for a more traditional finish to your living space.
Keep wires and cables clear of your bioethanol fireplace
When finalising your TV installation project, keep all electrical wires and leads away from your bioethanol fireplace because the housing gets very hot, which could easily cause cords to overheat, creating a fire hazard.
Bioethanol is smoke-free
Bioethanol fueldoesn't create smoke, ash, or soot when burnt. This means a bioethanol fireplace under a TV poses no smoke risk to your equipment.
How our customers have installed their TV above bioethanol fireplaces
Check out our customer pictures to get inspiration for installing a TV above a bioethanol fireplace.
Many of our customers have chosen bioethanol fires to fill a previously unused fireplace inglenook - giving them the beauty and warmth of a real fire without needing a chimney or ventilation.
Wall-mounted bioethanol fireplaces are easy to install. Simply unbox your fireplace and hang it on the wall using the supplied fixtures. Then, fill it with fuel, and you're ready to go.
Our freestanding fireplaces are even easier to install. Just unbox, fill with fuel, and light!
Can I pour bioethanol fuel on top of existing fuel?
NEVER !! This is extremely dangerous, so never pour any fuel on top of a flame/ existing fire. Always allow the existing flame to be extinguished fully and the fuel fuel box to be cooled before adding any more bio fuel.
Also, take extreme care that, before lighting the biofire, the bioethanol fuel bottle is removed from the area, at least 3 metres away.
Bioethanol is highly flammable, and we recommend caution in using and storing your fuel. Most bioethanol is supplied in air-tight bottles — the bottle must be air-tight, as ethanol evaporates if left open to the air.
Always store your bioethanol fuel away from potential fire sources and out of reach of children, pets, and animals.
All bioethanol supplied in the UK has a denaturing agent added — this makes the liquid poisonous, so NEVER drink bioethanol fuel.
Can I store bioethanol in the house?
You can store sealed bottles of bioethanol in the house, as long as it’s away from any potential source of fire and extreme heat. Keep it in a cool, dry cupboard.
Never store bioethanol within 3m of your fireplace or any other heat/flame source.
Many people store their bioethanol fuel in their garage or garden shed. If you’re keeping it outside, ensure it remains in the shade, away from direct sunlight.
Can I use cold bioethanol?
If you’ve stored your bioethanol outside, the liquid may become too cold to light successfully. Bring it to room temperature (below 15°C) before you light it — that way, it will ignite more quickly.
The cheapest way to buy bioethanol fuel is in bulk — bringing the cost per litre down considerably. Many retailers sell individual 1-litre bottles for around £5-7. However, bought in bulk, you can bring the price of a litre of bioethanol fuel down to about £4. If you purchase 12 litres of our own-brand fuel, ImagiFuel, it costs just £3.75 per litre.
Some of our customers store the majority of their fuel in the garage. However, we suggest transferring a couple of bottles at a time into the house to ensure that your fuel is at room temperature before you light it.
How do I dispose of bioethanol?
Never dispose of bioethanol in your household drains. Please refer to your local council’s guidelines on the disposal of flammable/poisonous liquids.
Note that any unused fuel left in the fuel box will evaporate over time as it is an alcohol-based product.
Bioethanol fuel burns completely cleanly, leaving no soot, ash, or smoke. So, there’s no chance of smoke damage to a shelf above a fireplace.
It’s safe to install a shelf above a closed-topped bioethanol fire, such as our wood burner-style biofires or our popular wall-mounted Marlow range. To prevent overheating, you should leave a minimum of 50cm between the top of the fire and the underside of the shelf.
Can I put a shelf above an open biofire?
While we don’t recommend installing a shelf above anopen biofireplace insert, you should leave at least 1m between the flame and the shelf if you do install one. Ensure that all flammable materials, such as curtains, are kept at least 1m from the flame.
Remember, curtains in front of an open window can flap in the breeze - ensure there's no way the curtains can reach the open flame.
We suggest practising the same caution as you would with any domestic open flame.
We use toughened safety glass manufactured and tested to withstand temperatures that far exceed the heat output of a bioethanol fire. So, under normal use, the glass will not shatter, degrade, or become dirty.
However, shattering of the grass may occur if it has taken an impact or been knocked accidentally. It could be that the damage is not immediately noticeable, but continued use may progressively weaken the glass's performance, increasing the risk of shattering. Regularly check your glass for any signs of small fractures or cracks, especially after it may have been knocked. Contact us for a repalcement if any problems are seen.
Don't let anything touch the glass while your fire is burning (even approved accessories), as this could cause damage to the glass. That goes for the outside of your fireplace — make sure nothing touches the glass while your fireplace is heating your room.
Can I get the glass replaced for my bioethanol fireplace?
If your fireplace glass has become damaged or shattered, don't hesitate to contact us for a replacement.
Why don't the flames go out when i close the shutter ?
The shutter on your ImaginFires fuel box should snuff out the flame of your bioethanol fireplace because it effectively cuts off the air supply to the flame. All flames need oxygen for combustion — a flame wouldn't burn, for example, in a vacuum.
However, the slider may not instantly snuff out the flame because the seal between the shutter and the fuel box isn't airtight.
The slider is purposely non-airtight to make closing the shutter easy — an airtight seal would create too much friction and melt when exposed to the flame.
So, how do I extinguish the flame of my biofire?
If the flames don't go out immediately, don't panic. Things aren't going wrong! :) If you leave the fuel box closed, the fire will go out.
Leave the shutter closed for at least three minutes, and the flames will die and go out entirely. Avoid opening and shutting the slider — just draw it closed, and the fire will extinguish.
Remember, both the fuel box and the body of your biofire remain too hot to touch for at least twenty minutes after extinguishing the flame. So, treat your biofire with the same respect you would for a traditional wood burner or open fire.
Biofires don't get as hot as traditional wood-burning stoves, but they still get way too hot to touch. Always practice caution when using your bioethanol fireplace, and always wait for the fuel box to cool down completely before refilling with more bioethanol fuel.
If the fuel box or shutter is damaged, DO NOT USE! Contact us for a replacement.
All fireplaces are dangerous if used carelessly or without the appropriate precautions. And bioethanol fireplaces require precisely the same level of caution for use. But operated in accordance with safety guidelines, your bioethanol fireplace is perfectly safe to use in the home.
Bioethanol fireplaces are extremely easy to use and operate without creating smoke, ash, soot, or any mess to clean up.
We supply an easy-read instruction manual with all of our bioethanol fireplaces, which MUST be read fully by anyone using the fireplace for the first time.
What precautions should I take when using a bioethanol fireplace?
Our comprehensive manual includes everything you need to know to operate your bioethanol fireplace safely. The main points to follow are:
Always wait until the fuel box has cooled to room temperature before refilling
Never refill the fuel box if the flame is still burning
Don’t overfill the fuel box
Mop up any biofuel spillages before you light the flame
Install or place your bioethanol fireplace away from curtains and soft furnishings that could ignite
We’ve designed our fuel boxes with a patented non-spill feature, which helps minimise the possibility of spillage as you refill. It also keeps the fuel inside the fuel box if the fireplace is accidentally knocked or moved.
Keep a carbon monoxide/dioxide detector in the room for additional peace of mind. Many of our customers have these detectors anyway, as they are handy for detecting other potential sources of pollutants commonly found in homes.
Yes. Bioethanol fireplaces produce no smoke, soot, or mess — so there’s no danger of smoke damage to your TV. You’ll see that many of our biofire customers have made a lovely feature of their biofire and TV together.
Some simple tips on positioning a TV above a Biofire:
We recommend leaving at least 45cm between the top of your biofire and your wall-mounted TV. Biofires don’t get as hot as wood- or coal-burning stoves, but installing your TV too close to the heat could damage your television.
Use one of the closed top biofires, such as all of those in our woodburner style range (link).
Dont put any TV leads or cables behind the biofire. They could heat up and get damaged. If you absolutely need to put cables behind a biofire…make sure they are covered in a heatproof cable guards/conduits.
Can I use a stovetop fan to distribute the heat from my biofire?
Stovetop fans are inexpensive and powered by thermoelectric energy (the heat of the fire converted into electricity), your stovetop fan has neither cables nor batteries.
The fan sits on top of your bioethanol fireplace and distributes the heat into the room (rather than permitting it to rise directly to the ceiling).
Stovetop fans are almost silent, and the blades start spinning when the fireplace heats up.
However, we get very mixed reviews on how good a job these stovetop fans do in distributing heat around the room. It depends on the fan itself, the size of room, the levels of ventilation etc. We dont have especially high expectations for these fans to significantly improve heat distribution, but they do have their ‘fans’ (sorry!)
Will smoke from my bioethanol fireplace damage my TV?
Bioethanol should never produce any smoke — it’s a clean-burning fuel that produces carbon dioxide and a trace of water vapour — never any smoke.
If your bioethanol fireplace is smoking, close the slider and extinguish the flames immediately. Open your windows to ventilate the space.
Check that nothing has fallen into the fuel box that could be causing the flames to smoke. Small pieces of paper, hair, or debris could cause smoke.
Always make sure the burning aperture is clear of any obstructions.
What type of bioethanol fireplace is best with a wall-mounted TV?
All of our beautiful fireplaces can be installed underneath a TV. Just ensure you leave at least 45cm between the top of the fire and the TV set.
Bioethanol fuels burn cleanly, leaving no residue, ash, smoke, or any of the mess associated with wood or coal-burning fires. As such, there’s no need for fireplace venting.
Bioethanol uses oxygen in the room to combust, emitting a small amount of carbon dioxide and some water vapour. While there are no fumes, keeping the space ventilated by opening a door or keeping a window slightly open during use is recommended.
We suggest you refresh the air if using regularly by opening a small window in between refills.
Whether wood, coal, gas, or bioethanol, all fires produce carbon dioxide. The levels from a bioethanol fire are roughly equivalent to burning two candles, so it’s simply not enough to be harmful to your health.
Log burners carry considerably more health and safety risks than biofires, mainly because they are designed to emit a far higher amount of heat, and also they usually burn wood, which of course is a source of smoke and various particulate matter.
They are far more difficult to install, and usually this should only be done by a recognised professional. Nevertheless, if they are installed correctly, and maintained regularly, then they are built to provide a primary source of heat.
Bioethanol fireplaces, on the other hand, are designed for use as a secondary heat source, and not intended for regular use. They are also not intended to perform in the same way as a woodburner. There are of course still some important health and safety issues to be aware of even when using a biofire, but we feel the combination of common sense, and reading the safety manual, results in bio fires being an ideal, safer, secondary heat source.
The body of your biofire gets very hot, so we strongly advise you against putting leads or cables behind or underneath your bioethanol fireplace. Heat from the fire can lead to malfunction or even pose a fire risk, especially from power leads. If you absolutely cant avoid putting cables behind a biofire for any reason, we suggest housing them in a fireproof conduit/cable protector.
Can I hang a TV over my bioethanol fireplace?
We recommend leaving at least 45cm between the top of your biofire and a wall-mounted TV — this ensures that your TV set doesn’t overheat.
We recommended placing biofires with a closed top beneath the TV. There are many examples of these in our range.
How much space do I need around my biofire?
Unlike traditional fireplaces, there aren’t currently any regulations dictating the clearance distance between a biofire and the wall or other items.
We recommend leaving at least 60cm above and (if possible) around the sides and front of your biofire.
Never place your bioethanol fire close to combustible materials such as soft furnishing and curtains. Remember that curtains can flap in the breeze from an open window, so make sure there’s at least 1m clearance between your fireplace and the furthest reach of your curtains.
How far from the wall should my biofire be?
If your biofire is portable, it’s OK to store it directly against the wall — however, make sure it has cooled down after use first.
Always leave at least 10cm between the back of the fireplace and your wall — this ensures good air circulation around the fire, assisting it in warming your living space.
The glass on my biofire has been damaged, can I still use it?
The glass on our biofires is designed to withstand temperatures far higher than the heat from a biofire, so under normal use it will not crack from the heat. However, if it has been chipped or damaged in some way, for example an object has knocked into it, it may have become weaker, sometimes even with no visible signs of damage. This would then in turn risk the glass cracking or shattering. If you suspect this is the case with your glass, please contact us for a replacement.
Allow the fuel to cool: Ensure the bioethanol fuel has completely cooled down to room temperature before disposal.
Store in a dedicated container: Use a dedicated container designed for bioethanol fuel to minimise the risk of spills or leaks. Ideally keep the biofuel in the bottle it came in. Decanting to other bottles that have not been approved for the use of ethanol based contents is not recommended.
Check local regulations: Consult local authorities or waste management facilities to understand specific procedures and requirements for disposal.
Contact recycling or hazardous waste facilities: Inquire with local recycling or hazardous waste facilities about their processes for disposing of bioethanol fuel.
Follow manufacturer's instructions: Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for safe disposal of bioethanol fuel.
How do you properly transport a bioethanol fireplace?
Transporting a bioethanol fireplace requires careful handling to ensure its safety and integrity during transit.
Steps to securely transporting a bioethanol fireplace
Preparation: Before transporting the fireplace, ensure that the burner is completely cool and empty of any bioethanol fuel. It's crucial to prevent any spillage or leakage during transport.
Disassembly (if possible): If your bioethanol fireplace is designed to be disassembled, carefully take it apart. Securely pack all parts, including any glass panels, to prevent damage during transportation.
Protection for glass panels: If your fireplace has glass panels, use appropriate padding or covers to protect them from potential breakage during transport.
Secure positioning: When loading the fireplace into a vehicle, ensure it is placed in a stable position to prevent movement during transit. Avoid stacking heavy objects on top of the fireplace.
Avoid extreme temperatures: During transport, avoid leaving the fireplace in extreme temperatures, such as direct sunlight or freezing conditions, as this may damage the materials.
Gentle handling: Lift and carry the fireplace with care, avoiding any sudden movements or impacts. Delicate handling will help preserve the fireplace's integrity and prevent accidental damage or injury.
For more detailed instructions on transporting your specific bioethanol fireplace model, refer to the manufacturer's transportation guidelines.
How do you properly store bioethanol fuel bottles?
Properly storing your bioethanol fuel bottles is essential to maintain their quality and safety.
Proper storage practices for bioethanol fuel bottles
Proper storage environment: Store the bioethanol fuel bottles in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. This stable environment helps preserve the fuel's quality.
Secure storage: Ensure the fuel bottles are stored in a location inaccessible to children and pets. This precaution prevents accidental contact and potential accidents.
Tight sealing: Always securely seal the bioethanol fuel bottles after use to prevent evaporation and leakage. This also reduces the risk of spills during storage or transportation.
Checking expiry date: Regularly check the expiration date of the bioethanol fuel and avoid using any that have passed the specified date. Using expired fuel can compromise burning efficiency and safety.
Responsible disposal: When a bioethanol fuel bottle is empty or expired, adhere to regulations for proper disposal. Check with the manufacturer’s recommendations and your local waste management facility to follow appropriate guidelines.
By adhering to these recommended storage practices, you ensure the longevity and safety of your bioethanol fireplace setup.
Wait until the flame has gone out and the fuel box has cooled down before refilling.
Your bioethanol fireplace gets hot, so take extra care around soft furnishings such as curtains, rugs, and cushions. Ensure that your curtains can’t reach your fireplace in a breeze and practice common sense when opening your fireplace’s door.
You can control your flame size with the fuel box slider. If you need less heat, move the slider to its halfway position. Or close the slider completely to extinguish the flame if you no longer want to heat the room.
In the unlikely event of a fire, use a foam fire extinguisher to put out the flames.
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We only sell Bioethanol Fireplaces! We are trusted by many of the UK's biggest high street names to supply biofires to their customers too. Biofires use an environmentally friendly bioethanol fuel which will give you a real flame and real heat! There's no chimney required, no flue to install, no cables to connect and no mains power needed.