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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Whirlpool Microwave Recall

Whirlpool has announced the recall of their microwave hood combinations due to an electrical problem.  Internal arcing can cause plastic components to melt and ignite.  Ignition of flammable material can pose a fire hazard.  The units that are involved in this recall are listed as follows:

Model Numbers                                                          Serial Numbers

WMH53520CS                                               TR33500000 – TR34899999

WMH53520CW                                             TR33500000 – TR34899999

WMH53520CB                                              TR33500000 – TR34899999

WMH53520CE                                              TR33500000 – TR34899999

WMH53520CH                                             TR33500000 – TR34899999

WMH73521CS                                              TR33500000 – TR34899999

WMH73521CW                                             TR33500000 – TR34899999

WMH73521CB                                              TR33500000 – TR34899999

WMH73521CE                                              TR33500000 – TR34899999

WMH73521CH                                             TR33500000 – TR34899999

Consumers should immediately stop using the affected models and contact Whirlpool for a free replacement model.  For additional information, Whirlpool can be contacted by calling 1-800-990-6254 or going to http://www.whirlpool.com and click on “Product Recall” at the bottom of the page.  Whirlpool has received five reports of incidents involving smoke and fire.  To date, Whirlpool has identified 15,200 units involved in this recall.

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