Fire and Appliance Safety, Part 2

In keeping with the previous post on fire and appliance safety, photographs of some items that have been encountered in previous fire investigations are posted here: the first photo shows an electric stove where the fire originated in the control panel.

                                                                                                    electric-stove-fire

The next photo shows a packaged a/c unit damaged by fire as a result of contact made between a live wire and the edge of an opening in the metal casing.

through-the-wall-unit

The third photo shows a riding lawn mower that ignited, most likely, by the owner’s failure to keep the machine clean between cuttings.

riding-lawn-mower

The next photo is of a paper shredder, also burned, because the machine was not kept clean.  Dust created by shredded paper is just as flammable as any petroleum based fuel if the right conditions exist for ignition.

paper-shredder

The propane gas regulator shown below was installed backwards so that gas was flowing into the outlet port and existing through the vent port.  Since there was no pressure regulation, the cap covering the adjustment, (located in the center) was blown off and the escaping gas ignited.  The homeowner happened to be standing nearby and was severely burned.

improperly-installed-propane-gas-regulator

The next photograph shows a line cord attached to an aquarium pump. The problem was identified as a faulty line cord that was not properly sized for the continuous operation. As a result, the line cord insulation melted and ignited.

aquarium-pump-motor0004

The following photograph shows a coffee maker that ignited and caused a small kitchen fire.  This appliance was destroyed badly enough so that the actual problem was unidentifiable.

coffee-maker-fire

The pipe flange in the next photograph cracked after having been in use for several years.  The leaking gas percolated up through a homeowner’s lawn and ignited; destroying the home as well as damaging a neighbor’s house.

cracked-gas-line-flange

Corrosion of the copper gas line resulted in the leaking of propane gas and a sudden explosion.  The explosion destroyed a residential structure.

fractured-gas-line

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Samsung Recalls Washing Machines

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced that Samsung is recalling approximately 2.8 million top loading washing machines. The top of the machines can detach while in operation and pose a risk of injury. The detachment has been described recently by news reporting agencies such as ABC as an “explosion”.  This recall involves 34 models and is also dependant on the serial number.  The model and serial number information can be found on labels attached to the back of the machines.  Once the model number is verified, Samsung will have to be contacted in order to determine if the serial number assigned to that machine is involved in the recall.  Samsung can be contacted by calling 1-866-264-5636 or online at www.Samsung.com .  If a washing machine is identified as part of this recall, consumers will have one of three options: a free in-home repair and extension of the manufacturer’s warranty, a rebate to be applied to the purchase of a new machine (including another brand), or a full refund for consumers who purchased their machines within the past 30 days of the recall announcement.  The date of the recall announcement is November 4, 2016.  The recall number for this recall is 17-028.

The following machine models are part of this recall:

WA40J3000AW/A2          WA45H7000AP/A2

WA45H7000AW/A2          WA45H7200AW/A2

WA45K7600AW/A2          WA45K7100AW/A2

WA48H7400AW/A2         WA48J7700AW/A2

WA48J7770AP/A2             WA48J7770AW/A2

WA50K8600AV/A2          WA50K8600AW/A2

WA52J8700AP/A2            WA52J 8700AW/A2

WA400PJHDWR/AA        WA422PRHDWR/AA

WA456DRHDSU/AA         WA456DRHDWR/AA

WA476DSHASU/A1           WA476DSHAWR/A1

WA484DSHASU/A1           WA484DSHAWR/A1

WA 48H7400AP/A2           WA50F9A6DSW/A2

WA50F9A7DSP/A2             WA50F9A7DSW/A2

WA50F9A8DSP/A2             WA50F9A8DSW/A2

WA 52J8060AW/A2           WA 5451ANW/XAA

WA5471ABP/XAA                WA 5471ABW/XAA

WA56H9000AP/A2             WA56H9000AW/A2

Dangerous Construction Site

We’ve been working on something recently that has become an unbelieveably lucky set of occurrances for a general contactor. Seems that a rock crusher was damaged when a stick of undetonated explosive was unknowingly loaded into the machine and detonated. Miraculously, no one was injured or killed when the explosion occurred. Only the day before, an undetonated stick of explosive was found on the construction site. This finding should have been a huge red flag for all of the contractors working on the site including the general. Such an unsafe working environment should have been reported to the state authorities that control blasting activities. But it wasn’t. It became obvious that the blasting contractor and the general contractor didn’t report anything because of the potential consequences: shut down of the construction site and possible fines. After these two occurrances, there were others that went undocumented. At one point, one of the subcontractors called the authorities and was told not to do it again, that they (general contractor) would be the ones to do the reporting. Needless to say, the authorities that govern blasting and work safety say that nothing was ever reported to them. How many times has this happend on other job sites? Have contractors been getting away with running unsafe construction sites in the name of protecting their profits? Is politics a part of this danagerous game? Please comment.

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