Frequently Asked Questions
Can I place it on my oak table safely or does it need to sit on a heatproof surface?
The base it comes with is enough to dissipate/absorb/block any heat generated. Between the base and the felt there is sufficient protection for nearly any surface.
I have a number of overhead sprinklers in my apartment. Have you heard of any instances where the personal fireplace set one off? I wouldn't put one directly under the sprinkler, but how far away should it be placed to be considered safe?
Great question. We actually have never, ever heard of it setting off a sprinkler. Sprinkler heads are set to go off when the air around them hits 155-165 degrees. In theory the column of air rising out FLIKRFIRE is hotter than ambient temperature. But the unit would have to be burning not only directly under the sprinkler head but also within a few feet beneath it. Assuming an 8-foot tall ceiling and 3-foot tall tabletop, this should never happen. That said, keeping the under from being directly underneath the sprinkler head should guarantee safety.
Can I add alcohol/fuel while the fireplace is still burning?
Absolutely not! Nothing flammable should ever be added to a live flame. Ever. Like. Ever.
Does it get hot?
It does. Unlike the glass of some candles though, cement has poor thermal conductivity. This means if you do touch it, it will register as hot, you will pull your hand away, and you won't be scalded.
Can I really burn it inside?
Yep! We do recommend reading our page on soot and carbon monoxide for the full science scoop. Suffice here to say that isopropyl alcohol produces a complete combustion when burned. So in a properly ventilated space, soot is only put where the flame touches (nothing on your ceiling or surfaces!) and there is no carbon monoxide.
Is it safe for children?
Only sober, responsible adults should set up, fill, and light FLIKRFIRE. Kids are often as safe as the parents monitoring them allow them to be. Just like we are taught to never run around a pool, horseplay around an open fire should never happen. Kids or adults! But really please, use good judgement. FLIKRFIRE provides delightful ambience and under supervision, kids will have a thrill not only enjoying that but even roasting marshmallows over it.
Is it safe to cook over it?
Absolutely! The only off-gassing of isopropyl rubbing alcohol when burned is water vapor and carbon dioxide! So it is totally safe and tastes so great! Just like over a campfire!
Can it tip over and spill?
We have designed FLIKRFIRE to be extremely stable. That said, any liquid can slosh. For this reason we insist that it only be placed on a very stable surface. Also anyone near the unit should understand this potential.
What happens if it spills?
Being a liquid, isopropyl alcohol will spread (while lit) over a surface if spilled. Unlike a gelled alcohol though, isopropyl alcohol actually burns off quite quickly. First, we recommend you don't panic. Second, use a fire extinguisher to put it out. We do of course require flammable objects be kept away from the unit.
Can I use other fuels such as bio ethanol?
Unfortunately not. FLIKRFIRE is ONLY meant to be used with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Some gelled ethanols have been known to, "spit" at times. This of course puts a flaming, sticky substance in places it shouldn't be.
How do I turn it off?
Do not attempt to blow it out, just snuff it! We recommend using a stone drink coaster; set it on top of the unit for a few seconds and the flame will be deprived of oxygen.
How long can I continuously burn it?
We recommend that after two refills (approximately 1.5 - 2 hours) you let the unit cool for roughly 20 minutes. The cement can withstand extremely high temperatures, so no problem there. It does though get hot to the touch and this is good to mitigate by letting it cool. Also, the heat held by the cement will be passed to the alcohol, making it burn more quickly and hotter. This is also mitigated with a cool-down period.
Is there anywhere I shouldn't put it?
Keep it off of any wobbly or unstable surfaces. Also keep things like cloth table-runners or doilies a distance away just in case there is a spill.
Setup and Care
How does it work?
Open box. Read instructions and warnings. We included pretty pictures. Set the base on a stable surface away from anything flammable. Set unit on base. Using 70% or 91% isopropyl alcohol fill the unit no more than an inch from the rim (5 ounces). Light using a long-handled lighter. Enjoy. Snuff out (don't blow out) with something not flammable (stone/ceramic drink coaster).
How do I clean soot out of the base?
Once the unit is cool, we recommend you separate it from the base and just use soap and water in the sink.
What percentage of isopropyl rubbing alcohol do I need?
Both 70% or 91% work great. We actually don't recommend 99%. A small caveat to say though that 70% can take a little extra time to get going. Especially if the alcohol is cold or outside with a breeze, it might require holding the flame (seriously though, only use a long-handled lighter!) on the surface of the alcohol a bit longer than you might expect. But once going, 70% is excellent.
How long does it last?
Depending on ambient temperature, etc. you can expect 45-60 minutes of burn time.
How do I turn it off?
Do not attempt to blow it out, just snuff it! We recommend using a stone drink coaster: set it on top of the unit for a few seconds and the flame will be deprived of oxygen
How long can I continuously burn it?
We recommend that after two refills (approximately 1.5 - 2 hours) you let the unit cool for roughly 20 minutes. The cement can withstand extremely high temperatures, so no problem there. It does though get hot to the touch and this is good to mitigate by letting it cool. Also the heat held by the cement will be passed to the alcohol, making it burn more quickly and hotter. This is also mitigated with a cool-down period.
How does it do in the wind?
Fantastic actually. It's in fact very difficult for wind to blow it out. Just be aware that in extraordinarily high wind it has a chance of blowing the lit fuel out of the basin onto surfaces.
How much heat does it put off?
Actually not that much. We call it a, "cozy warmth" because it's really only felt when you are quite close to it. In the middle of the summer, it won't counteract your air conditioner. This makes summertime s'mores more possible than ever!
Why isn't 70% rubbing alcohol lighting?
It's probably just a bit cold. As 70% isopropyl alcohol is 30% water, it can struggle lighting at first. We recommend holding the flame of your (long-handled) lighter on the surface of the alcohol for just a bit longer. It will get going, promise!
Why is it only burning for 10 minutes?
While not common, we do hear this now and then. In our instructions, we say to fill to, "an inch below the rim". But because no one is going to use a tape measure, we also say that that is roughly 5 ounces. We encourage that you measure out 5 ounces, pour it in, and see how that goes. If using 70% or 91% isopropyl alcohol, we promise you'll get roughly 45 minutes of burn time. One other factor here is that if the unit is hot, the alcohol will be hot and therefore vaporize and burn more quickly. This is why subsequent burns can go down in burn time. This is a reason why we say that the unit needs to cool down after every couple hours.
How long does it take to ship?
Due to Covid-19, your order may encounter shipping delays from shipping carriers. We have an incredible fulfillment company that get's these in the mail so crazy fast. That said, it's hard to control once in the modern miracle/frustration machine that is the postal system. We do everything we can to update with tracking information. If though your package does not arrive on the estimated delivery date, we kindly ask that you please wait 1-2 days for it to arrive before contacting us at email@example.com. All orders will be shipped within 2-5 business days.
What is your return policy?
We accept returns within 21 days from the delivery date. Items returned must be in original condition and unused. We reserve the right to deny a refund if item(s) returned are not in original condition or do not meet our quality standards. Shipping charges are non-refundable. A $7 fee will be deducted from the refunded price for the return shipping. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a prepaid return shipping label.
Does the fireplace come with the white base?
Absolutely it does! The base is essential to protecting whatever surface FLIKRFIRE is resting on while giving it the refined aesthetic it deserves.
Can I use 99% isopropyl alcohol?
99% isn't our favorite as it burns hotter than the other alcohols, therefore faster, and needs more oxygen. This is not dangerous and well within the abilities of FLIKRFIRE. Just something to be aware of. Diluting with water would be an option though to mitigate these affects and bring it down to the performance of 70% or 91%.
Can I paint the exterior?
You can paint the exterior yes. We have no testing on heat resistance or off-gassing of paint though, so we leave this to do at your own risk.
Can you add essential oil to the alcohol?
We recommend adding oil to the rim of the unit, not in the alcohol itself. As the unit heats up the oil will be dissipated out.
Is it safe to burn if we have cats?
We can't claim to know what type of atmosphere would be harmful to cats. But we can claim that, assuming enough oxygen, there is no toxic off-gassing. Isopropyl alcohol releases water vapor and carbon dioxide when burned. We breathe out carbon dioxide (as do cats). So they are certainly living in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide. That said,FLIKRFIRE is producing more than they produce. If it is a concern, a slightly opened window would allow for plentiful fresh oxygen to dissipate any potentially harmful effect. That said, we can merely google the sensitivity of cats, we (sadly) aren't veterinarians. We can assure what FLIKRFIRE produces, not how various pets will react.
How much does the unit weight?
5.5 pounds all in. Might be a bit much for a backpack, or you might just be a far stronger hiker than us!
What is it made out of?
Yep, everyone asks that. We encourage a lot of dyi but please don't try to make this yourself or trust casual copycats. We put a lot of work into testing this (including third party testing by UL) to make sure it is as safe as possible. That said, it's a proprietary cement rated at 3,000 degrees and non-absorbent. The base is a man-made quartz with polyester felt.
Seriously, no soot?
We proudly advertise that FLIKRFIRE will not produce carbon monoxide or put soot into your home. While this is true, we want to clarify a few things. While some fuels produce carbon monoxide as a bi-product of burning, isopropyl alcohol does not. However in the absence of enough oxygen ANY fuel (even a cigarette lighter) can begin to produce carbon monoxide and soot. This can occur for various reasons but most often in a tightly sealed space (which often contain an air exchanger). Knowing this we have always said that FLIKRFIRE must only be burned in a well-ventilated room; by, “well-ventilated” we mean the active exchange of air (thereby oxygen). However the more FLIKRFIRE gets out into the world (yay!) the more we realize the need to further educate both our sellers and buyers. Unfortunately, given the possible variations in a home there is no single standard or test by which we can guarantee plentiful oxygen. So as a refinement of our statement about being, “well- ventilated” we now say that FLIKRFIRE should not be burned in a room smaller than 300 ft2. To especially ensure soot does not appear around your home no other flames should be lit and a window must be cracked in the room FLIKRFIRE is burning. Also regularly wipe out burn chamber. If soot appears anywhere other than where flame touches stop using FLIKRFIRE indoors as this can signal a lack of oxygen in your environment. With tens of thousands of units sold, we have had .0001% of customers report a problem with soot. But FLIKRFIRE is more than a business to us and we are driven to get the number of issues to absolute zero. We continue to sell with confidence in our product while we are excited to keep problem solving with any and all customers.
Why does it only put soot where the flame touches?
Yep, we studied on this one for a while. Be patient with this answer, and read the whole thing! A blue flame has (relatively speaking) no color because the heat consumes ALL of the loose carbon chains. This type of fire produces only carbon dioxide and water vapor. Period. Our wee fireplace on the other hand, burning isopropyl alcohol, produces carbon dioxide, water vapor, and loose carbon chains. HOWEVER (and this is a big deal), isopropyl alcohol is still a complete combustion. Therefore all of those carbon chains are consumed in the heat of the fire; and that is why an isopropyl alcohol flame is yellow, those are the glowing embers of carbon being burned up. That means carbon (what we call soot) will rest everywhere the flame touches. It will not though escape the umbrella of the hot flame. This does of course assume an abundance of oxygen, enough to enable the full combustion.