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While visiting the ideal home exhibition after about half an hour I was bored out of my skull. It is not somewhere that I particularly liked to go in fact the last time I went there with my wife was about 30 years ago. She wanted to go ever since and every time I would tell her next year, next year! Unfortunately this year I had no excuse as I had some leave to use up so when she asked if we could go I said yes ok we will go on Thursday! Thursday came and I asked her do you really want to go and when she said yes I just smiled outwardly but groaned inwardly and we headed off for the station.
Arriving at the exhibition centre we started our visit on the top floor of the massive exhibition hall. It was nearly lunch time so it was quite handy as that was where most of the food exhibits were and food stands! We grabbed some snacks here and there and wandered around the upper floor. Most of the stuff exhibited upstairs really did not interest me much apart of course from the food and drinks.
Eventually we toddled off downstairs to wander around the lower exhibition. It was quite interesting because there was garden furniture and hobby type exhibits plus of course the show houses. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something that I thought would be most interesting and headed off in that direction. The stand had flickering flames and fires all aglow and drew me to it.
The stand was called the Nakedflame and they were selling various table top ornaments that were letting off flickering flames. I was instantly struck at how quirky they were and very interesting and unusual. I had a good look around this exhibition and decided that there were a couple of things I would like to buy. One of them was a table top ornament.
I chose a medium cube in black stone. It is about 8x8 inches square with serrated edges down the sides of the cube. There is a small lid on the top which when removed uncovers a stainless steel chamber where the flames were flickering. I asked the lady about it and she told me that it is filled with a smokeless gel and lasts for up to an hour at a time. It was giving off quite a bit of heat and I really liked the unusualness of it. It was on offer for £25 instead of its usual price of £30.
Of course once buying the unit it needed the gel fuel to go with it. The fuel is a bio fuel which is environmentally friendly. It is a smokeless fuel which means that it can be used inside the house and does not give off any smells. The gel is made from the fermentation of vegetation which produces alcohol which is the source of ignition of the gel. This was available for £5 a litre or three litres for £12. You can even buy the gel fuel which is impregnated with citronella to keep mosquitoes at bay during the summer months if using at a barbecue or just if sitting outside if we ever get a summer that is. However it is much cheaper to buy the fuel through Amazon.
Does it work?
When I got home I unpacked it out of the box I set it up and followed the instructions of only filling the fuel chamber 75% with the gel. I lit the gel which at first you could not see any flame eventually the flame turned orange and appeared to flicker about 6 inches above the cube unit. There was instant heat from the unit and it soon warmed us up after coming home it was absolutely freezing outside. It was quite nice to look at and a focal point in the room.
To extinguish the flame all you have to do is put the lid on which deprives the flames of oxygen and snuffs the flame out.
Is it worth it?
In my opinion yes it is. I like unusual things and find that they can be an interesting talking point if they are on the table on in the room when you have guests. I am quite impressed with how much heat was given off as our house is very cold even though we have our central heating on 24/7 and just to show you how cold the house is the butter does not usually become spreadable at room temperature until about June!
There are various sizes of gel burning portable and fixed fires that you can buy from the company but this little ornamental fire is just what I wanted. The larger sizes can be used as an instant room fire. They are of modern appearance or some that are conventional looking and can be used as a standalone unit, placed in a redundant fire place or mounted on the wall. There is no need to have an external flue or chimney however you should remember that there should be an ample ventilation supply to any room. There is no electrical or gas installation and they can be used in any room.
As this is a portable product it can be used almost anywhere in or outside of the house. I have used it in the lounge dining room and study so far and also outside on the patio one evening. It is pretty effective and looks great.
* Do not leave the unit unattended.
* Do not refill the gel chamber when the unit is still hot.
* Light the fuel with a long gas lighter or taper.
* Do not walk around with a lit flame.
* The sides of the unit do get a bit warm but not hot enough to burn.
* Follow the safety recommendations on the information sheet.
* Install unit on a flat and stable surface
* Supervise children at all times when the fire is lit.
* Do not use near flammable materials for example flying curtains for example.
You can visit the website of the nakedflame company who are based in Leicestershire.
I think these products are excellent as a quirky and funky boys toy going right up to the fire places which are really quite practical especially in places where there is no fuel supply such as piped gas or electricity. So if you live in a flat and you want to see a flickering flame the Nakedflame will have a fire unit suitable for you. It does not smell and does not let off any smoke so it is quite safe to use in doors and does not need a chimney.