Fire alarms make you feel safe, but an Albany, Calif. fire chief says it’s a false sense of security. Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle, the chief says most people equip their homes with cheaper ionization alarms, which detect smoke via an electric current and can lead to false alarms (such as reacting to overcooked food) while missing genuine dangers until it’s too late. The chief says people should opt for slightly more expensive photoelectric alarms, which use more accurate light beams to alert fire victims. [More]
An AT&T insider sent Boy Genius Report these pictures of an iPhone 4 that burst into flames after a customer tried to hook it up to his computer. [More]
No, you’re not having a flashback. This is a new Toyota recall, and it’s not based on sticky pedals, stuck floormats or problems with emergency handling. This time, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the problem is that the Lexus HS 250h hybrid could leak fuel in rear-end collisions, potentially causing fires. Sales of the vehicle have been halted as Toyota works on a solution. [More]
An iPod erupted on a high school science room desk in Pentucket Regional High School in, MA yesterday. Supposedly… [More]
Gizmodo reports, based on a story in the subscription-only El Norte, that workers in a Foxconn factory in Juarez, Mexico became enraged and set the building on fire. Supervisors had misled the workers into working unpaid overtime. A delightful follow-up to the Reuters report about a Foxconn security guard threatening a foreign reporter. [Gizmodo] (Thanks, GitEmSteveDave!) [More]
Remember Michael? When he tried to upgrade his Verizon DSL, a customer service rep helpfully told him that 7 mbps was not only unavailable at his address, but it would burn his house down. After this slightly surreal exchange was featured on Consumerist, Michael reports that Verizon’s executive customer service got in touch with him and figured out the situation. Guess what? He could get the blazing fast DSL that Verizon had repeatedly refused him. [More]
There’s a big scorch mark on Hannah’s floor. It appeared last week after her Dell Mini 9 began suddenly sizzling and smoking and melting. We have pictures, and questions. [More]
We have an update to this story, with a happy ending for everyone except for the ill-fated Mini Cooper.
Is John asking too much from Zipcar? He writes that he and his wife rented a Mini Cooper for a weekend trip. On their way home, their car first overheated, then burst into flames just minutes after they pulled over. The couple survived uninjured, but didn’t have time to get all of their belongings out of the car. Zipcar sent roadside assistance, reimbursed John and his wife for their car ride home, and gave them a credit good for another daylong car rental. However, the company will not cover any of their personal items destroyed in the fire.
Michael would like some faster Internet tubes to run into his house. He would be happy to give his ISP, Verizon DSL, money to provide this service, but he can’t. He writes that repeated calls to Verizon’s sales line resulted in a series of answers that disagreed with each other, culminating in a call where the rep quite sincerely informed him that Verizon cannot give him faster DSL because it will burn his house down.
DirecTV was planning on charging several victims in the largest fire in recorded Los Angeles County history for the satellite TV receivers that burnt to cinders in their homes. “What I’d like to do is take a shovel full of ashes from my cabin and dump it on their desk. They can have their receivers back,” Ken Gray told LAT.
Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have announced a recall of 4.5 million vehicles spanning back to 1992. A mixup in the manufacture resulted in the “self-immolation” button being labeled “cruise control.” In all seriousness, though, a vehicle fire could occur on these models, so be sure to check this out.
It is our solemn duty to inform you that your Subaru Baja could be trying to light itself, and by extension, you, on fire.
Maybe these guys know something about the risks of combining fire and gasoline that we don’t, but we’re pretty sure that you’re not supposed to smoke at a gas station. Reader Chris didn’t think so either, and he sent us these pics of employees taking a smoke break at his local Citgo.
iPods aren’t only en fuego on the sales charts, but a 15 have been reported catching actual fire as customers used them.
A ConAgra plant near Raleigh, N.C., that makes and packages Slim Jim beef jerky was rocked by a huge explosion on Tuesday, killing three employees and sending dozens of workers and three firefighters to hospital with severe burns or “exposure to toxic fumes.”
After Walmart wouldn’t let him make a return, Phillip R. Wright, 41, of Monroe, Louisiana, pictured, left, looking disgruntled and pretty “arsony,” set a men’s clothing rack inside the store on fire.