On September 1, 2011 the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of all pourable gel fuels made by nine separate companies. The recall covers an estimated two million units of this fuel, which has been sold since 2008. Customers are being asked to contact the individual companies to obtain a refund for return of the product.
The recall is reportedly based on 65 reported incidents of flash fires. The fuel is designed to be used in outdoor fireplaces or firepits. Specifically, the pourable gel fuel can ignite unexpectedly and splatter onto people and objects when it is poured into a firepot that is still burning.
If you have a claim involving a flash fire occurring when an individual was using pourable gel fuel, your first instinct may be to chalk it up to user error. However, based on this recall, thought should be given to pursuing a products liability theory.