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Thread: Iron Nearly Caused a Fire

  1. #1
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    Here's another example of why you need to unplug your iron when you aren't using it. One day last summer I began to notice what seemed like an electrical burning smell. My first thought was that it was a problem with the new air conditioning unit we had just installed. I walked through the house and couldn't see anything - then walked around the outside of the house - nothing. When I came in the house there was a definite haze to the air. Still couldn't determine where the problem was - so I called my husband to come home from an errand. By the time he arrived, there was a marked haze and the smoke detector was going off. He told me to call the fire department and get outside. He looked through the house and found the problem! It was my iron in the back sewing room. I hadn't looked there because I knew I hadn't been in that room for two days. He called to me to bring a pan and he grabbed a pot holder. We got the iron outside before the fire department arrived. It had burned a hole through the layers of ironing board cover. I believe we were just minutes away from a full blown fire.

    The next day I emailed Black and Decker and they called me back. I explained the problem and they sent me a new iron. They said they wanted the iron to be mailed to their quality control department and they would send me a mailing label. When I finally got a note from them - they only wanted the end of the plug which has a code stamped in the plug.

    Needless to say - I now unplug my iron each time I am done using it. On the one that burned, I always turned it off when done, even through it was an auto-off - but never unplugged it. Much, much better safe than sorry! I'm just thankful I was home when this occurred.

    When you look at the pictures, the chunk that looks like a silver stone is the metal that melted out of the iron. This was a Black and Decker Digital Advantage iron that I had used for several years with no problem.
    Attached Images Attached Images


  2. #2
    Junior Member TeriD's Avatar
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    Wow, that is really scary. Thanks for the good advice!

  3. #3
    Junior Member buckyfan19's Avatar
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    Yikes! We are glad that you are safe and there wasn't any large damage!

  4. #4
    Super Member tealfalcon's Avatar
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    I always unplug mine bc I have heard stories like this wow

  5. #5
    Super Member RenaB's Avatar
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    WOW, glad you found it in time. Never knew why but I always unplug mine after each use and now I know.

  6. #6
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    I have a power strip for all electrical. I turn it off each time'. Glad ur ok!

  7. #7
    Senior Member sandrab64's Avatar
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    Glad I've been listening to my husband. He has always said to unplug the iron and I do. So glad nothing terrible happened and that everyone and everything (except poor Mr. Iron) was OK. These are good lessons and thank you for sharing.

  8. #8
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    I always get aggrivated with my husband for unpluging my iron when I leave the room. I guess from now on I won't say a thing, and try to remember to do it my self. Thanks for the warning.

  9. #9
    Super Member fidgety's Avatar
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    Yep I have turned around when leaving the house to make sure the iron was UNPLUGGED and not just shut off...

  10. #10
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad you're ok and that hubby found the problem before it was too late. Fortunately, we're already in the habit of unplugging our iron!

  11. #11
    Senior Member MoanaWahine's Avatar
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    This is one thing that I have always done, (that is unplugging the iron) guess I learned this from my mom. Thanks Mom :D

    I want to send a Huge Thank You for showing some pictures as to what can happen. My 9 year old is just getting into quilting and will be using an Iron (under my supervision!!). I showed him the pictures and he was like, What Happened!! I explained and he now has learned a very valuable lesson. So, thanks again for the pictures. They speak thousands of words!!

  12. #12
    Super Member Jill's Avatar
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    I have an auto-off iron and the only time I unplug it is when we are going on vacation. Thanks for your tip and pictures, and from now on, my iron will be unplugged when I'm finished with it. Happy to hear that you and everything else is ok.

  13. #13
    Super Member LeeAnn's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. I will now unplug my iron after using. Years ago the same thing happened to a friend. The iron was off but not unplugged. Seeing the pictures has changed my mind. Thanks.

  14. #14
    Super Member sparkys_mom's Avatar
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    I unplug everything. The iron, the sewing machine. I also don't use coffee pots that stay plugged in - they have their fair share of problems, too.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeriD
    Wow, that is really scary. Thanks for the good advice!
    ditto!!!
    dar :thumbup:

  16. #16
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Painiacs
    I have a power strip for all electrical. I turn it off each time'. Glad ur ok!
    In dealing with power strips I also unplug my iron from it's power strip. Those things fail more than not especially if they're old. We replace our power strips we use about every 3 or 4 years.

  17. #17
    Senior Member hannajo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jill
    I have an auto-off iron and the only time I unplug it is when we are going on vacation. Thanks for your tip and pictures, and from now on, my iron will be unplugged when I'm finished with it. Happy to hear that you and everything else is ok.
    Me too. I hate to admit, I often forget to turn mine off. I hope this story will help me to remember.

  18. #18
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    We had a house fire when I was young. My Dad was working in the garage and left a tool plugged in. He came inside to help Mom finish putting down new linoleum tile in the kitchen. We kept smelling and odor and thought it was the tiles. Daddy opened the door to the garage from the kitchen and saw the flames. He made us all run and he called the fire dept.

    We only had a volunteer fire dept. and luckily they were all there that day. Our garage was severely damaged. We lost everything in attic above the garage also. The inside of our home had smoke damage, mostly the living room. We were so blessed that we didn't loose our home.

    From that day on, Momma was extremely careful to not leave anything other than the stove and refrigerator plugged up.
    I need to be more diligent in keeping things unplugged. In recent years, I will admit to have gotten lazy about unplugging things. But I am going to start being way more careful again. I never leave the iron plugged up when not it use. That is one thing I don't trust.

  19. #19
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    Many years ago my one year old Black and Decker kept flipping the breakers. Got rid of that thing quick after I contacted the company and they put it on report. They had issues with the model before. Wasn't worth me trying to go after getting my money back because I didn't pay much for it. I have not had a problem with electrical in my sewing rooms since, even after replacing the iron with a high wattage Rowenta. But I do make sure the iron is plugged into its own circuit. Just in case.
    Glad you did not have a serious fire. I lived in 3 houses (all rentals) growing up that had fires. One was matches to a garage, another was electrical, another was a rubbish fire close to the house. Scary and not fun.

  20. #20
    Super Member luv-e's Avatar
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    Someone else mentioned this the other day and now I turn my power strip off>>>>>
    This is very good information to know....you were very lucky

  21. #21
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    wow, that is really nasty looking. thank goodness all is well. thanks for the warning.

  22. #22
    Senior Member lyndaloo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the warning. I have that same kind of iron, and I will remember to unplug it from now on. So glad you caught it before it caused a real disaster!

  23. #23
    Super Member trif's Avatar
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    Wow, thank god you were home and it happened while you were awake! I'm glad everything turned out well. Lesson learned for all of us to remember safety first. We don't even leave the toaster plugged in, major appliances only.

  24. #24
    Senior Member KerryK's Avatar
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    Glad all was OK.

    A fireman once told me to also unplug a toaster oven. He said something to the effect that as long as it was plugged in, it "held" power, or something like that. Always good to be on the safe side!

  25. #25
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Its just a good idea for any brand iron, especially with the post of the Rowenta catching on fire the other day. We can all try to be more safe. Thanks for the heads up.

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