Hands handling food over camp stove
Photo: Johner

Avoiding accidents with methylated spirits

Methylated spirits are used to fuel appliances such as camping stoves. If you abide by some simple rules, these are relatively safe appliances.

Keep an eye on things

Methylated spirits are extremely flammable. Incorrect use has resulted in accidents and disfiguring burns. Never leave a methylated spirit appliance unattended. Also make sure that the camping stove or appliance is on a flat surface and that the fuel cannot spill out.

Refill correctly

A common mistake is to refill with methylated spirits while the appliance is still burning. This can cause an explosive fire. You should therefore be absolutely certain that there is no flame present before refilling an appliance with methylated spirits if you are using it or have just finished using it. Never fill the burner more than three quarters full.

Extinguish with the lid

The flame must be extinguished by putting on or tightening the lid. Never try to blow out the flame – you could blow burning liquid onto nearby people or objects.


Methylated spirits and other flammable liquids must be kept in tightly closed and clearly labelled containers. You are not allowed to keep more than 10 litres at home.

Recommended for you