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States ban dangerous ethanol burners

AAP logoAAP 21/12/2016 Melissa Iaria

Victoria, NSW, Queensland and WA have banned portable ethanol burners as the federal government moves to outlaw them nationally because of safety concerns.

A 60-day interim ban came into effect in the four states on Wednesday.

The decorative burners, filled with methylated spirits, ethanol or bio fuel, have caused 113 reported injuries and 115 fires in Australia since 2010.

They can be freestanding or sit atop furniture.

Retailers and online traders must take the banned products off their shelves or delete them from online catalogues immediately.

Those who continue to sell them will face steep penalties of up to $220,000 for individuals and $1.1 million for corporations.

People with ethanol-fuelled burners at home are advised to stop using them immediately.

The ban doesn't apply to fixed alcohol-fuelled fireplaces, products used in the heating or warming of food, or products with a power output of more than 4.5kW.

The federal government is moving towards a national ban on the advice of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Federal Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says despite previous warnings by the watchdog, significant injuries are still occurring, including second- or third-degree burns.

"I'm worried about the potential harm these products can cause families, which is why we're moving towards banning those burners that pose the greatest risk," he said in a statement.

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