Interim ban extended on alcohol-fuelled burners

The NSW Government has extended an interim ban on the sale of portable alcohol-fuelled burners due to serious safety concerns, Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean announced today.

Across Australia, there have been 115 incidents and 113 injuries linked to these products since 2010. In NSW, there were 51 incidents reported during the same period, with 34 resulting in injuries.

When this kind of burner is low on fuel, the flame can be difficult to see, and some injuries have occurred when consumers try to re-fuel a device that is in fact still alight. Another risk is people or pets knocking over a lit burner, causing a fire.

In December 2016, NSW Fair Trading and other consumer agencies implemented a 60-day ban on the sale of these products. This is due to expire on Sunday (February 19 2017) but has been extended by 30 days while investigations continue into a possible permanent national ban.

Mr Kean said alcohol-fuelled burners were responsible for some horrific, life-threatening injuries.

“These products have caused significant injury and heartache, and I will work with Fair Trading to do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety of the people of NSW,” he said.

“Customers who have purchased one of these burners are entitled to a full refund from the business from where it was purchased.”

Retailers must take the appropriate steps to remove these burners from shelves and online catalogues. The maximum fines for selling banned products range from $220,000 for individuals to $1.1 million for corporations.

The ban applies to portable or table-top alcohol-fuelled burners. It does not include fixed alcohol-fuelled fireplaces; products used in the heating or warming of food; or products with a power output of more than 4.5 kW. 

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