VIC: Product safety ban on portable ethanol burners


Portable decorative ethanol burners have been banned from sale in Victoria, with recent serious injuries reported throughout Australia raising concerns about their safety.

The Victorian Government has approved a 60-day interim ban on the sale of these products pending further assessment by Consumer Affairs Victoria, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and other consumer agencies nationally.

The interim ban comes into effect from Wednesday 21 December 2016.

Victorians who have banned ethanol-fuelled burners in their home are being advised to cease their use immediately.  

Consumer Affairs Victoria Director Simon Cohen said 113 injuries and 115 fire incidents relating to the burners have been reported throughout Australia since 2010.

“Consumer Affairs Victoria has promoted educational material warning of the dangers of these products and providing owners with advice regarding their use. We now believe the number of injuries caused justifies a product safety ban,” Mr Cohen said.

The interim ban now means that retailers and online traders based in Victoria must take the banned products off their shelves, delete them from online catalogues and cease sales immediately. 

The maximum fines for selling banned products are $220,000 for individuals and $1.1 million for corporations.

After further investigations are complete, consumers will be advised if they can return the product for a full refund. Stores may require proof of purchase such as a receipt or bank statement.

The interim ban does not apply to ethanol fireplaces that are installed in a fixed position, those products with a power output of more than 4.5 kW and those used in the heating or warming of food.

Download the interim ban notice: 

Imposition of interim ban on decorative alcohol fuelled burners (PDF, 105KB)

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