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Thread: Iron Fire

  1. #1
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    Iron Fire

    Yes, while pressing my blocks, the cord to my old iron caught fire. Luckily I didn't get burned but a few cinders dropped on my new silver fabric cover of my ironing board. I kept trying to blow the flames out and it kept igniting even after I was able to bend down to unplug it. Why it caught fire will never be known as the cord was in good shape. I had left the iron on for 2 straight days early last week though so that might have been the beginning of the end to this old iron. It wasn't one that had the auto-off option. It got nice and hot, was small and did a great job pressing my fabrics and blocks. Am sad to see it go but glad I was there when it happened. Can you imagine if it had happened last week what might have been the end result? I have bolts of fabric right under my ironing board for lack of space on the shelves plus a trash can nearby too so lots of stuff that would catch fire quickly.

    Needless to say all ended up well, no more fires, the iron will be tossed as I'm afraid to just replace the cord as it might have been something inside the iron that caused the fire.

    Went checking out irons online, checked the reviews on a number of them and have decided on one made by Chi.............yes they make flat irons for the hair which I have one of theirs and have had it for years. This iron I've ordered has a ceramic titanium pressing surface, 2 types of auto-off and a powerful steam so will be able to use it when I need to steam out fullness on quilts attached to the frame. If this iron works as good as it claims I might just order another one just for the quilt frame room.

    I'm just so glad I was home when this happened though as I live in a 118 yo wood house with lots of fabric down here so it would have been one heck of a bomfire. I've brought in a surge protector which I'll attach to the wall at eye level so I can turn the power off completely to the iron when I'm done for the day. Guess I'm still rattled. Funny thing is I have my fire extinguisher located right above the iron station and never thought to pull it down to use.

    Someone on Facebook who had been a firefighter says that though you think your iron is off there is still power going to it so reason for the surge protector to shut the power off completely. The iron was the only thing not on a surge protector down here too.

    As I mentioned a few cinders burned pinholes in my new silver fabric ironingboard cover I was afraid the cotton batting underneath might smolder and catch fire so I poured water down each hole to soak it plus I stayed downstairs for a couple more hours to make sure nothing ignited again.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 11-28-2018 at 08:05 AM. Reason: shouting/all cpas
    Suz in Iowa
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    Babylock Evolve, Innova 26" LS, MQR
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  2. #2
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Such a scary story! Thanks for letting us know to be extra careful. So glad your damage was so minor - I can only imagine how rattled you were/are. If you remember the brand of the new iron please let us know
    Alyce

  3. #3
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Good thing you were home. As an aside, get one of these for the longarm room instead, you will be much happier in the long run. Works better and makes much more steam than any iron. https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-...-garden/510248

    Additionally because steaming is all these units do you won't have the horror of it spitting up dirty water on a quilt as steam irons can do over time.

  4. #4
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    My old iron is still going strong at over 40 yrs. but I cut off the old plug and put on a new one. It sits on a fire proof pad but I do have to be careful to unplug it. So lucky it happened when you were there to put out the fire!

  5. #5
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    The title to your post struck terror in my heart! What a scary thing, and I'm glad you didn't suffer more damage.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Sheri.a's Avatar
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    For those times I forget I purchased a timer that shuts off the power on my iron: https://www.amazon.com/Teklectric-Cu...ct_top?ie=UTF8
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  7. #7
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    So glad you were nearby when it happened! Scary indeed!
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  8. #8
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    stories like yours reinforce my fear of not turning the power off when my iron is not in use.

  9. #9
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    That is scary. I had a little purple Rowenta sizzle and pop, so I tossed it immediately with the cord cut off so no one else would dumpster dive and retrieve it. I'm so scared of leaving my iron on, I do that F&P thing of my iron is in a surge protector along with a night light. If the night light is on, the iron is hot. Even with an automatic off, I don't trust it.

  10. #10
    mkc
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    So glad you are ok! Very scary that you accidentally left the iron on for 2 entire days!

    Stories like yours are why I cringe when folks here ask for recommendations for irons that don't have the auto-shut off. And even with that feature, you should always unplug the iron when you're not in the room. You never know if you're going to get distracted and forget to come back.

  11. #11
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Thank goodness you were there and the fire didn't spread. Someone told me a long time ago about using a surge protector and plugging my iron and the lamp next to my ironing board to it. I use the on/off button on the surge protector to turn the system on and off. That way I know at a glance if my iron is on. If the light is on, the iron is on. Light off, iron off.
    Patrice S

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  12. #12
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    Oh gosh that is so scary! I am so glad you were home and attentive when it happened. I always unplug my iron when I am not using it - well, I always try to remember to unplug my iron when I am not using it. And it is because of stories like yours. Glad you are OK.

  13. #13
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    I am so glad you were home and in the room when the fire started - and that you were able to minimize damage, save your fabrics, homes and, most important, yourself!

    My iron is on a surge protector, and a craft light is on the same surge protector. The light reminds me I was using the iron, so I need to turn it off.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  14. #14
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
    Thank goodness you were there and the fire didn't spread. Someone told me a long time ago about using a surge protector and plugging my iron and the lamp next to my ironing board to it. I use the on/off button on the surge protector to turn the system on and off. That way I know at a glance if my iron is on. If the light is on, the iron is on. Light off, iron off.
    I do this too.

  15. #15
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    I had an older iron I loved, and the thermostat went out (I think due to falling off the iron) so it super heated and that unlimited draw on electricity damaged the cord and it started to melt in places. I will say that between the time it was malfunctioning and the cord went, I loved having a super hot iron! Though I did accidentally melt some older poly/nylon thread and super shrink up some poly/cotton fabric.

    I have been keeping my iron plugged into the same power strip that controls my track lighting in the sewing room, so I know if those lights are off, so is the iron. My current iron does have a long shutoff time, however I have reason to believe it's not working and the iron never shuts off on it's own. I never turn it on or off, just use the power strip to control it. The power strip is mounted to the wall right under the ironing board, so it can't get stepped on by the cats and turned on accidentally. If we are going out of town, I unplug the power strip from the wall.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  16. #16
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have an under cabinet light plugged into the surge protector that my iron is also plugged into. When I get done sewing for the day or taking a half hour break I turn it off. If light is off then my iron is off.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  17. #17
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    I'm so glad that no one was hurt!! It could have been tragic!

    I have my iron plugged into an outlet that is attached to the switch on the wall. It is the kind of outlets that people use to have a table lamp that can be turned on and off with the wall switch. (I hope I'm explaining this well.) A lamp is also plugged into the same outlet, so when I flip the wall switch to 'off', both the lamp and the iron are off, because the outlet does not have any current running to it. (I know there must be an easier way to explain this, but I'm just a little old lady!)

  18. #18
    Super Member jmoore's Avatar
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    Wow, that’s scary...I live in a late 1700s house and completely understand your concerns. Even though my iron has an automatic shut off..I still unplug it! I hope you can restore your ironing board surface easily.
    attitude is everything...the rest will fall into place.

  19. #19
    Junior Member coffeegirl's Avatar
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    Thanks for the warning, I just ordered the shut off from Amazon, lol!

  20. #20
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Also did you know that if you have your iron on the same circuit as your computerized sewing machine that every time the iron heats up to temp off and on it surges the machine? How many times does the iron cool down and heats back up during a sewing session? It harms the machine over time and could be the problem of many woes when your machine starts acting up.
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  21. #21
    Super Member Snooze2978's Avatar
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    Well, I have ordered the Chi iron. Read reviews on 2 sites that helped make my mind up. It has 2 options for the auto-off. If it is standing up it will shut off after 30 or 60 minutes. If laying flat, 30-60 seconds. My habit was if the iron was standing up I knew it to be on, if laying in the cradle just off the ironing board it was off. Obviously those 2 days it was left on I didn't go with my normal habit. I won't need to worry about any dumpster divers on this iron as the cord is burnt thru. As to my ironing station I'd just put on new silver fabric about a week prior but bought enough to cover again. Will wait awhile before I recover it again though.

    I also now have a surge protector installed above the ironing cradle and turn it off after use if its going to be awhile before I come back to use it. Still a bit rattled I guess.

    As to the Chi iron, it comes with 4 options...........non-retractable cord with a dial, retractable cord with a dial, non-retractable with digital readout and retractable with digital readout. I chose the non-retractable cord with a dial as it was the least expensive in case it doesn't work as they say. Will let you all know what I think about this iron next week when it arrives.

    Also thank you all for your concerns. I have learned to be more careful now in my older years. Also There is nothing else on this circuit so I don't have to worry about it interferring with a sewing machine. They are all on their own circuits on surge protectors in the other room. When I bought this house, I changed out the fuse box to circuit breakers asking for extra wall sockets on separate circuits in case I decide to have all my machines going at the same time. As I didn't know who or how the present wall plugs were installed I had to take a chance on them but this special type surge protector told me exactly what I had to work with cause as soon as I plugged it in it screamed "line fault" meaning the old type wiring......2-wire with no copper. My electrician tried to get past that but I prevailed on that issue.

    Take care and thanks all for your suggestions and concerns.
    Suz in Iowa
    Designer EPIC, Brother XR3140
    Babylock Evolve, Innova 26" LS, MQR
    ProQ Designer, EQ7, Embird

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmoore View Post
    Wow, that’s scary...I live in a late 1700s house and completely understand your concerns. Even though my iron has an automatic shut off..I still unplug it! I hope you can restore your ironing board surface easily.
    I have heard several stories about appliances, etc. that have caused a fire even if they were turned off, but left plugged into the outlet. I am guilty of not unplugging every electrical device and I have been fortunate not to have had any fires. But these days, it seems we can't be too careful even with all the safety features.

  23. #23
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    That's a scary story, Suz! I'm glad you are ok, as you pointed out it could have been so much worse.

    Rob
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  24. #24
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    So glad you were there. You were so lucky. Years ago before the ones that turn themselves off a friend of mine forgot to turn hers off before leaving for a weekend, They lost their home.

  25. #25
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    To be absolutely safe, please unplug appliances at the outlet. I'm told that there is a "trickle" of electricity to anything that we leave plugged in--toaster, can opener, etc. I think surge protectors are just that--to protect from power surges. I wouldn't trust that there is no risk there. I like the suggestion of having a light on to remind a person to turn the iron off! It seems a lot of us have cats in our homes and I have concern that mine will jump up on the ironing board and knock the iron over, creating a fire hazard.

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