Has anyone ever heard of a Glade pug-in or similar product starting a fire?
Has anyone ever heard of a Glade pug-in or similar product starting a fire?
I've heard of it but can put my hands on any reports or similar....
I have not seen any of these devices cause a fire. I guess that it is possible since it is electrical and anything can fail.
Not to say that it hasn't EVER happened ANYWHERE, but...
It's an old urban legend.
YES! But not exactly....the plug-in itself was not to blame. We had a fire in the dining room of a double wide trailer (the house of member of our department, in fact), where we traced the point of origin to a plug-in air freshener. It was not like the Glade plug-in, it was shaped like a flower...upturned, like a cup. Well, the wife said that she had fussed at the kids earlier because she caught them tossing pennies into the little "cup"....turns out one of them slid between the plug-in and the receptacle face, shorting between the prongs of the plug. We know that this is what happened because we found the penny in the debris, with two arc marks on it that perfectly matched the spacing of the plug prongs. Wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself..... :eek:Quote:
Originally Posted by shadfly
I have seen a bunch that someone initially blamed on a plug-ni. But none that have actually been determined with any scientific accuracy.
Last one I had was a BR fire. AO was clearly in the vicinity of a duplex outlet where an air freshener was repotedly plugged in. Local fire guy conclusively determined that the plug in caused the fire. He recovered no evidence that a plug-in was ever actually plugged in there. No evidence of a competent fuel load. Plus, he somehow eliminated the numerous cigarette butts in the trash can where the fire REALLY started.
If you think you have one of these, safeguard the evidence (safeguard it-don't take it), as well as the outlet. Let the insurance investigator submit it for scientific testing. If it truly caused the fire, the lab will be able to tell.
Slightly off topic, but I have only been a CFI for a little over 5 years but George's evidence advice reminds me how quickly the area of Fire Invesitgation continues to evolve. How many different procedures for collecting evidence have you seen since you started George? The when did spoilation become more of an issue?
I've seen many, but I have always done it the same way. As a public sector investigator, I did not take accidental evidence. It wasn't mine to take. It was the personal property of the owner.
Spoliation of evidence has been an issue for years in general. It has been applied to fire investigation for about the last ten.
Ahhhh... should have checked there! I wondered... thank you!Quote:
Originally Posted by Resq14
Now THAT makes more sense - wow though - horrors! Poor kids! Poor MOM! Poor family! Penny pitching cups placed in strategic locations (I hope) in new home! lolQuote:
Originally Posted by dmleblanc
LOL - OOOPS! I didn't have one... thought maybe it was a hoax or someone out to hurt Glade - wasn't sure though and since I have used these plug in's for a few years I had to get an educated answer. I feel safe enough with mine again & ty ty ty! ;-)Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
Thank you shadfly, for putting this where it made sense! As was obvious to you, I had no clue where to ask or how to do it the best way. Thanks for gittin' 'er done! ;-)Quote:
Originally Posted by shadfly
Glade PlugIns Fire Hazard
Claim: Glade PlugIns brand air fresheners pose a greater-than-usual fire hazard.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]
My brother and his wife learned a hard lesson this last week. Their house burned down...nothing left but ashes. They have good insurance, so the home will be replaced and most of the contents. That is the good news. However, they were sick when they found out the cause of the fire.
The insurance investigator sifted through the ashes for several hours. He had the cause of the fire traced to the master bathroom. He asked my sister-in-law what she had plugged in the bathroom. She listed the normal things....curling iron, blow dryer. He kept saying to her, "No, this would be something that would disintegrate at high temperatures." Then, my sister-in-law remembered she had a Glade Plug-in in the bathroom. The investigator had one of those "Aha" moments. He said that was the cause of the fire. He said he has seen more home fires started with the plug in type room fresheners than anything else. He said the plastic they are made from is a THIN plastic. He said in every case there was nothing left to prove that it even existed. When the investigator looked in the wall plug, the two prongs left from the plug-in were still in there.
My sister-in-law had one of the plug-ins that had a small night light built in it. She said she had noticed that the light would dim....and then finally go out. She would walk in a few hours later, and the light would be back on again. The investigator said that the unit was getting too hot, and would dim and go out rather than just blow the light bulb. Once it cooled down, it would come back on. That is a warning sign. The investigator said he personally wouldn't have any type of plug in fragrance device anywhere in his house. He has seen too many burned down homes.
Thought I would warn you all. I had several of them plugged in my house. I immediately took them all down.
Origins: In early 2002, manufacturer SC Johnson invoked a voluntary recall of their Glade brand 'Extra Outlet Scented Oil Air Fresheners' (a plug-in air freshener which included its own outlet so that consumers wouldn't have to give up an outlet space to use it) because they had found a loose connection inside the extra outlet that might pose a fire hazard. There had been no actual reports of fires property damage associated with the product prior to its recall, however:
In October 1994, Johnson recalled five million Glade plug-in fresheners sold between 1992 and July 1994 as a "precaution" after receving 600 complaints, including "12 allegations about the fresheners being involved in fires."
In 2002, WABC-TV reporter Tappy Phillips covered a story about a possible connection between plug-in air fresheners and home fires, but nothing conclusive was determined. Phillips said the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) showed them "scores of reports from consumers, chronicling fire hazards associated with plug-in air fresheners from various manufacturers," but the CPSC also acknowledged "some fires attributed to air fresheners may be caused by faulty electrical wiring." WABC looked at two instances where air fresheners were suspected in house fires, but the causes of the fires had not been definitively established. (Both cases involved not Glade brand products, but Wallflower, a plug-in air freshener manufactured by the White Barn Candle Company.)
We haven't found a conclusive study establishing that plug-in air fresheners pose a significantly higher fire hazard than other electrical devices. Although fire officials will often recommend that consumers not use plug-in air fresheners, it could be the case that air fresheners are mistakenly being blamed for fires started by other causes (such as faulty wiring), just as cell phones are often falsely cited as the cause of gas station fires attributable to other causes (usually static electricity).
According to the FAQ SC Johnson has now placed on the web site for their Glade brand products:
SC Johnson recently learned that there have been postings on the Internet that have claimed that our products were involved in fires. It's important that you know that all of our PlugIns® products are safe and will not cause fires. We know this because PlugIns® products have been sold for more than 15 years and hundreds of millions of the products are being used safely.
Furthermore, because we are committed to selling safe products, SC Johnson further investigated these rumors. Internally, we confirmed that no one had contacted SC Johnson to tell us about these fires or to ask us to investigate them. Additionally, we were able to have a fire investigation expert call the fire department representative who is identified in one of the Internet postings. That fireman indicated that he has no evidence that our products had caused any fire.
We also know that our products do not cause fires because all of our PlugIns® products have been thoroughly tested by Underwriters Laboratories and other independent laboratories and our products meet or exceed safety requirements.
SC Johnson also has worked closely with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate allegations that PlugIns® products have been involved in fires and CPSC has been satisfied that there is no basis for these allegations.
As a more than 100 year old family-owned company, SC Johnson is committed to providing top quality products that can be used safely in homes and we want to reassure you that PlugIns® products can be used with complete confidence.
Additional information: Looking at Potential Dangers of Plug-In Air Fresheners
(WABC-TV, New York)
Recall of Glade® Extra Outlet Scented Oil Air Fresheners
It would seem to me that this would create a direct short. Why didnt the electrical circuit protection function in this situation? If it was a high resistance type of situation I would expect the penny to be melted, but if it had evidence of arching I would expect a fuse or breaker to interrupt the electrical current.
I found this blog after an arson suspect of mine claimed that his friend had set a few house fires using plug-in type air fresheners that he had altered in some way, has anyone else seen or heard any similar claims? I know about the urban ledgends, and know that they are bull, but could these devices, and have these devices been used as an incindiary device? I plan to do some testing to see if I could alter one of these devices and obtain the desired results. Anyone having any first hand knowledge in this area, please share!
FWIW, I haven't run across anything like this but, if I had, I probably wouldn't go into detail on a public forum about it.
For starters, I don't know if you're who you say you are and I don't know who else might be reading this forum. Anyone here can claim to be anything. (We've caught enough fake firefighters here, why not fake fire investigators?) I certainly wouldn't want to give anyone any ideas. ;)
I'd suggest that you try contacting other agencies and fire marshal type organizations in your state through official channels. They'd be more likely to be able to help you with the sort of information you're seeking.
The glade plug-ins also it wouldn't help if the scent is produced from the perfume if it's an oil too.
Never like the things myself.
Plug-In Air Freshener Causes Fire In N.C.: 12 Pets Die
BESSEMER CITY, N.C. --
A plug-in air freshener is to blame for a Bessemer City fire that killed a dozen pets, investigators said.
The blaze on Chestnut Wood Road early Wednesday took the lives of four dogs, four cats, a snake and an iguana. Firefighters were able to revive one of the family’s dogs and it survived.
“Everybody look at what you have in your house,” said Gastonia's Assistant Fire Marshal Billy Glover.
He said air fresheners that may seem harmless can turn out to be very dangerous.
“This is the second one that I have investigated this week,” Glover said.
He said the problem is that plug-ins use heat to spread the smell, and if it gets hot enough, the plastic will melt.
“And then it gets the air to it and it bursts into flames,” he said.
Glover said that is exactly what happened at the Bessemer City home. He said the plug-ins are safe to use sparingly, but check them often to make sure they don't overheat.
He also suggests residents not keep flammable material near or under them.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said it’s rarely the case that a small plug-in device, like an air freshener or a night light, sparks a fire. It said most such fires are caused by faulty wiring in the house.
One way to protect yourself is to look for the Underwriters Laboratories symbol on the product. It’s the UL logo seen on most electrical appliances.
So is this true, or is this poor investigation?
Poor investigation. For alot of reasons.