Here’s some news out of Florida that could have been much more horrible: a storage building at a Yuengling brewery near Tampa caught fire over the weekend. While the facility sustained about $1 million in damage, the company reports that their brewing operations won’t be affected. Repeat: there will be no mass beer shortages. [More]
Would you rather have a humid living environment, or one that’s on fire? Ding ding — we’re pretty sure the owners of 800,000 dehumidifiers sold by Sears would agree with you. The retailer is again reminding consumers of a recall for a product line that had issues last summer, again, over fires linked to using the Kenmore dehumidifiers. Now might be a good time to check on your dehumidifier. [More]
For five days, hot toxic gases filled the air near a highway in Norway after the contents of a truckload caught fire in a tunnel. The hot temperatures were too dangerous for highway personnel to approach: one told reporters that the material could be “almost like [gasoline] if it gets hot enough.” What was in the truck? Carmelized goat cheese.
A fire on an airplane is never ever going to be a good thing, but at least in the case of a United Airlines plane at Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport this weekend, the fire occurred before the plane took off and all passengers were safely evacuated.
When you’ve escaped from a late-night fire and lost your home and all of your belongings with it, what do you do next? That’s what Rudy wants to know, on behalf of his parents. Last week, their house caught fire hours after being hit by lightning. They got out alive, and are about to begin rebuilding their lives. But first: the insurance claim. An adjuster from Allstate is coming today. Rudy wonders whether the Consumerist Hive Mind have experienced this kind of catastrophic loss and massive insurance claim, and have any advice for his family.
Matthew and his family were having a great day in the country until their car caught fire. First they noticed an odd smell…and then the smoke and flames. Eventually the fire department showed up, but their insurance company, Progressive, wouldn’t tow the car because the damage was caused by a fire. Sure, a fire caused by an electrical problem with the car.
They’re two staples of a summer day in the Northeast: a backyard grill and a bottle of sunscreen. Why not reapply some sunscreen before you prepare for a long session cooking some meats? It’s not such a good idea if your sunscreen is the spray-on kind. Sure, the can says “flammable,” but it didn’t occur to a Massachusetts man that this statement is also true after the sunscreen is on your skin, for several minutes after application. He applied some Banana Boat Sport aerosol sunscreen, walked over to his charcoal grill, and was engulfed in flames. He ended up with second-degree burns on his upper body. Way more painful than a sunburn…but no excuse to skip putting on sunscreen.
It’s still a little early to start talking about turkey fryer safety. There’s still a week before most families’ birds even come out of the freezer. But this is no ordinary video: most frying guides don’t feature William Shatner being consumed by a massive computer-generated fireball.
Daniel has a Black Tie service plan for his laptop, so he dropped it off at Best Buy for what he thought was a simple camera repair. Back at home, he realized something must be wrong when smoke billowed out of the computer. This seems unsafe to Daniel, and he thinks that Geek Squad needs to replace the entire computer instead of just swapping out some parts. Geek Squad disagrees.
100 years ago today, over 100 factory workers died in a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City. The deaths could have been prevented if management had implemented basic safety precautions, but they chose not to, choosing profits over people’s lives. Here is a snippet from a great PBS documentary on the tragedy, starting at the moment the flames started to lick the walls, which would soon become gouged by the fingernails of the panicked workers trapped inside.
The government proposes new regulation to make an industry safer. The industry shouts back that the new measures are “cumbersome and costly,â€Ÿ tantamount to “a confiscation of property.” A newspaper opines, “Excited persons rarely accomplish anything…No new laws are needed.” Trade groups issue dire warnings about how the new laws will wipe out entire industries and sacrifice jobs. Are these the latest response to new Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines? Banking giants balking at financial reform? Nope, those were quotes from when fire protection guidelines were proposed after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, in which 146 garment workers died. Friday marks the 100th anniversary of this tragedy.
A family in Allentown, PA was lucky to escape with their lives after a natural gas explosion destroyed their block and took five of their neighbor’s souls. Then their cable company RCN told them they would have to pay $170 a pop for the cable boxes that were destroyed in the fire.
This pictures is of Melanie’s house as it burns to the ground within 60 minutes. It was a fixer-upper she and her husband had poured their savings and souls into with all sorts of DIY projects, and they and their two-and-half year-old son escaped it becoming their pyre by only minutes and with only the clothes on their backs. These are 9 things she wished beforehand, now that she is wrestling with insurance and filing claims:
The Zippo lighter that Mark has carried around the world with him for the last 30 years just wasn’t working like it used to. (I would say that it “lost its zip,” but that’s a stale pun and The Consumerist is far too dignified for that kind of thing.) He theorized that the reason could be the off-brand flints and fuel that he purchased for it locally. Zippo’s representative agreed, and to test that theory, sent him some free genuine Zippo brand fuel and flints in the mail immediately. “You’re probably the ‘most-best’ company in the world!” Mark wrote back to them.
The fire raged through 62 units of the Galleria apartment homes in Fargo, ND. Flames shot out windows and black smoke billowed across the sky. No one was hurt but 150 residents are without homes. A now, their cable company wants them to pay for the equipment damaged in the blaze, between $500 to $1,000.
A Tennessee man watched in horror last week as flames consumed his house. Also watching? The local subscription-based fire department. The man had not paid his $75 firefighting fee, so the firemen would not lift a finger or a hose.
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.