There is nothing like curling up in front of a fire on a cold winters day. Unfortunately not all of us have that luxury. If you live in a home where you don't have a traditional fireplace or even a chimney of any sort, you can still have the warmth and beauty of a fireplace without the inconvenience of having to clean it out.
A gel fire must be one of the most environmentally sound ways to achieve an open fire effect without the smoke and fire involved with traditional fireplaces. You don't have to worry about buying and storing wood or coal to burn, yet you can watching flickering flames which look just like the fires you might be more accustomed to.
The fuel which is burnt in a gel fire is a bio alcohol which burns with a strong orange flame. The heat produced is much more than the size of the flame might indicate making them fuel efficient and great money savers. The heat produced is also instant and they do not need time warm up. One litre of the gel fuel will last around 5 hours and you can burn the fuel without having to provide any flue. It is this point which sets them apart from gas fires. It means that gel fires are very safe and burn in much the same way as a candle might. You only need to take the normal precautions which you might when dealing with flames.
Gel fuel fireplaces are also quite easy to fit yourself. They can be free-standing or wall hung and come in a number of styles including traditional and modern versions. If you wanted to make your own portable gel fire this is also possible. You can place stones into a existing fireplace and burn the gel within them. The gel is poured into basins in the bottom of the grate and simply lit. When you want to extinguish the flames simply cover them with a lid and the oxygen supply will be eliminated forcing the flames to go out.
You will need to have an additional source of heat when using a gel fire as a large room will not be heated adequately using one alone. It may be perfect for day time use or for when the weather is not quite cold enough to heat the whole house. It is also recommended to install a carbon monoxide alarm just in case, although this type of fuel will not usually produce fumes.
A gel fire is a simple solution to the problem of wanting a fire when you don't have a fireplace. You can buy kits from DIY stores and before you know it you can be enjoying the ambience of flickering flames.