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Old 08-28-2018, 12:12 AM
 
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A relative of an acquaintance had a fire in their house recently. House burned down and person badly injured. Investigation found the fire started from a modem.

I think most people have the modem on 24 hours a day. With this fire risk in mind, would it be a good idea to unplug the modem when not using or when one is not at home?
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Old 08-28-2018, 09:23 AM
 
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I was at friends house the day after they returned from a vacation, it was in the morning and his Mother was having breakfast with some other relatives. She comes out of the house yelling the toaster oven was on fire, I removed it for her using some oven mitts. They weren't even using it and if it had happened the day before the house probably would have burned.

Anything is potentially a fire hazard if it's plugged in, especially if it's on. I would suggest modems are way down the list of hazards. If it makes you feel safe and it's not a huge inconvenience go for it.

I've had a major house fire myself caused by an electric short in the wiring in the wall. I won't be turning my modem off other than for extended vacation.
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Old 08-28-2018, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Knowing the appliance that is the starting point of a fire is not yet knowing the CAUSE of the fire. The only flammable part of my toaster would be bread crumb build-up. a short would trip a breaker or melt into open circuit. Similarly, most appliances -including modems - have little or no flammable material in them. The greater danger is from lack of proper air circulation and junk around them. A modem half covered in papers might be the heat source, but the combination of heat source and fuel is needed for a conflagration.

When I was growing up it was standard operating procedure to unplug the tv when a lightning storm threatened. We don't recognize incoming data lines as potential antennas unless the shield is properly grounded as discussed elsewhere in the forum. I don't feel the need to disconnect my satellite modem, but it is properly bonded to ground and sits free standing on a metal filing cabinet. It is part of my security setup, and the risks from disconnection more likely than any fire risk.

What I AM anal about is unplugging anything with a lithium battery connected to a charger. No tablet, phone, or laptop is charged if I am not around.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Knowing the appliance that is the starting point of a fire is not yet knowing the CAUSE of the fire. The only flammable part of my toaster would be bread crumb build-up.

Harry I was there and I can tell you it was something in the electric components around the switch or whatever that caught fire. This wasn't a fire inside the oven part itself and as I said they were not using it when this occurred, it was dark black smoke indicating something plastic caught fire inside. This occurred 20 years ago and the toaster oven may have been 10 or 20 years old at the time.
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
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https://www.thesilverlining.com/west...se-house-fires
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Old 08-28-2018, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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No.
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
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Our old modem smelled like it was burning inside, but it didn't catch on fire.
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Old 08-28-2018, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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Interesting, Coalman. Of that vintage, bakelite and mica and asbestos and braided (glass?) insulation were common. Experience trumps speculation, any idea what you think might have caught fire?

phetaroi, good link. I particularly liked "Never leave a toaster unsupervised." It creates images in my mind of the toaster as a child, torturing the blender when your back is turned.
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Old 08-28-2018, 06:22 PM
 
Location: SE corner of the Ozark Redoubt
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There should not be anything in the control area of the toaster oven except bakelite and mica and asbestos and braided fiberglass insulation. Makes me wonder if it was something that erroneously got left in there during assembly, or if the company took shortcuts during manufacture after getting UL approval.
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Interesting, Coalman. Of that vintage, bakelite and mica and asbestos and braided (glass?) insulation were common. Experience trumps speculation, any idea what you think might have caught fire?

No idea Harry, I don't think anyone ever looked. I was too busy basking in the praise. When this occurred she was so freaked out she couldn't even remember my name and yelled "Boy, Fire!". I just happened to be out in the front yard because that was the gathering spot for various things we used to do. I just calmly went into the kitchen and grabbed the oven mitts, pulled the plug and took it right out the kitchen door.


I realize it's unlikely event but **** happens, perhaps something got down in the controls. Mice would be common problem where they lived, perhaps one got in there and chewed something up. I found a mouse once inside a light fixture that electrocuted itself.
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