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Computer Fire Starts Flame War

 
 
Red Ryder
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      05-08-2004
One of my family members enquired of me the source of acrid smoke and
when I looked smoke was pouring out the back of the Pentium IV (2 year
old) and when I looked closer the wires inside were on fire. The fire
seems to have originated in a tied bundle of wires between the case
switches and the motherboard. The case was fairly dusty. I've googled
newsgroups and web pages for "computer fire" and I gather few have
experienced a fire in a computer and some believe its not possible.

My question is - is dust ignition the likely cause of the fire?
 
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Oldus Fartus
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      05-08-2004

"Red Ryder" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> One of my family members enquired of me the source of acrid smoke and
> when I looked smoke was pouring out the back of the Pentium IV (2 year
> old) and when I looked closer the wires inside were on fire. The fire
> seems to have originated in a tied bundle of wires between the case
> switches and the motherboard. The case was fairly dusty. I've googled
> newsgroups and web pages for "computer fire" and I gather few have
> experienced a fire in a computer and some believe its not possible.
>


Well, your experience has shown it is possible.

> My question is - is dust ignition the likely cause of the fire?


I wouldn't think so. My guess would be the plastic wire insulation caught
fire rather than the dust. It does seem odd that those particular wires
would heat to such an extent without the power supply shutting down, but
stranger things have happened.

--
Cheers
Oldus Fartus


 
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Thor
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      05-08-2004

"Oldus Fartus" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:409d10de$0$16606$(E-Mail Removed). au...
>
> "Red Ryder" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> > One of my family members enquired of me the source of acrid smoke and
> > when I looked smoke was pouring out the back of the Pentium IV (2 year
> > old) and when I looked closer the wires inside were on fire. The fire
> > seems to have originated in a tied bundle of wires between the case
> > switches and the motherboard. The case was fairly dusty. I've googled
> > newsgroups and web pages for "computer fire" and I gather few have
> > experienced a fire in a computer and some believe its not possible.
> >

>
> Well, your experience has shown it is possible.
>
> > My question is - is dust ignition the likely cause of the fire?

>
> I wouldn't think so. My guess would be the plastic wire insulation

caught
> fire rather than the dust. It does seem odd that those particular wires
> would heat to such an extent without the power supply shutting down, but
> stranger things have happened.


Something obviously had a serious short circuit problem because none of
those wires normally carries enough current to heat up the wires in the
least.


 
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Oldus Fartus
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      05-08-2004

"Thor" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Oldus Fartus" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:409d10de$0$16606$(E-Mail Removed). au...
> >
> > "Red Ryder" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> > > One of my family members enquired of me the source of acrid smoke and
> > > when I looked smoke was pouring out the back of the Pentium IV (2 year
> > > old) and when I looked closer the wires inside were on fire. The fire
> > > seems to have originated in a tied bundle of wires between the case
> > > switches and the motherboard. The case was fairly dusty. I've googled
> > > newsgroups and web pages for "computer fire" and I gather few have
> > > experienced a fire in a computer and some believe its not possible.
> > >

> >
> > Well, your experience has shown it is possible.
> >
> > > My question is - is dust ignition the likely cause of the fire?

> >
> > I wouldn't think so. My guess would be the plastic wire insulation

> caught
> > fire rather than the dust. It does seem odd that those particular

wires
> > would heat to such an extent without the power supply shutting down, but
> > stranger things have happened.

>
> Something obviously had a serious short circuit problem because none of
> those wires normally carries enough current to heat up the wires in the
> least.
>


Exactly. I wonder if there is something Red Ryder hasn't mentioned?

--
Cheers
Oldus Fartus


 
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Plato
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      05-08-2004
Red Ryder wrote:
>
> One of my family members enquired of me the source of acrid smoke and
> when I looked smoke was pouring out the back of the Pentium IV (2 year


I got a page once from a client who said when I called back that there
were flames coming out of the back of their PC. Evidently the wires or
whatever inside the power supply had caught fire.



--
http://www.bootdisk.com/
 
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Plato
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      05-08-2004
Thor wrote:
>
> Something obviously had a serious short circuit problem because none of
> those wires normally carries enough current to heat up the wires in the
> least.


In the beginning, LED, IDE activity, turbo and such wires were not
marked on either the wire connector or motherboard. If you didnt have
the manual you were really stuck guessing.

One of my "guesses" fired up the wire while I was connecting it. Flames
and all.




--
http://www.bootdisk.com/
 
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Michael-NC
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      05-08-2004

"Thor" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Oldus Fartus" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:409d10de$0$16606$(E-Mail Removed). au...
> >
> > "Red Ryder" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> > > One of my family members enquired of me the source of acrid smoke and
> > > when I looked smoke was pouring out the back of the Pentium IV (2 year
> > > old) and when I looked closer the wires inside were on fire. The fire
> > > seems to have originated in a tied bundle of wires between the case
> > > switches and the motherboard. The case was fairly dusty. I've googled
> > > newsgroups and web pages for "computer fire" and I gather few have
> > > experienced a fire in a computer and some believe its not possible.
> > >

> >
> > Well, your experience has shown it is possible.
> >
> > > My question is - is dust ignition the likely cause of the fire?

> >
> > I wouldn't think so. My guess would be the plastic wire insulation

> caught
> > fire rather than the dust. It does seem odd that those particular

wires
> > would heat to such an extent without the power supply shutting down, but
> > stranger things have happened.

>
> Something obviously had a serious short circuit problem because none of
> those wires normally carries enough current to heat up the wires in the
> least.


Obviously he had a short circuit...

Never the less, fires inside a computer case or not unheard of. The safety
factor is the amount of consumables inside a standard PS case is relatively
minute. Once the consumables are combusted, the fire will starve for fuel
and extinguish itself. As I mentioned before, that's why I will never use
case mods such as lights and Plexiglas side panels as they only add
consumable mass.




 
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Thor
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      05-09-2004


> Never the less, fires inside a computer case or not unheard of. The safety
> factor is the amount of consumables inside a standard PS case is

relatively
> minute. Once the consumables are combusted, the fire will starve for fuel
> and extinguish itself. As I mentioned before, that's why I will never use
> case mods such as lights and Plexiglas side panels as they only add
> consumable mass.


what do you do when the TVs, DVDs, and VCR units you buy have all plastic
housings? You must have a real quandry there. Seriously, I think your
apprehension over plexiglass in a PC is a bit unwarranted. Especially
considering that many new PC designs have gone over to all plastic covers,
and plastic case covers for PCs have been around in one fashion or another
for a long time. Just about any consumer electronic product has potential to
catch fire should something go terribly wrong, and heavy use of plastics is
the norm in consumer electronics. I don't see the PC as being any more of a
fire hazard than the average DVD, VCR, or television set. And for the
record, as I'm typing this out, I'm sitting here watching "Master and
Commander" on a 32" TV with an all-plastic cabinet, playing from a DVD
player with an all plastic housing, getting a cool breaze from my
oscillating fan (all plastic housing) while sitting in front of my 15" LCD
monitor with an all plastic housing, printing out photos from my digital
camera on an HP Photosmart 1215 with an all plastic housing, being fed by my
PC in an aluminum case with a big plexiglass side window.

Perspective, Michael.



 
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Michael-NC
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      05-09-2004

"Thor" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>
> > Never the less, fires inside a computer case or not unheard of. The

safety
> > factor is the amount of consumables inside a standard PS case is

> relatively
> > minute. Once the consumables are combusted, the fire will starve for

fuel
> > and extinguish itself. As I mentioned before, that's why I will never

use
> > case mods such as lights and Plexiglas side panels as they only add
> > consumable mass.

>
> what do you do when the TVs, DVDs, and VCR units you buy have all plastic
> housings? You must have a real quandry there. Seriously, I think your
> apprehension over plexiglass in a PC is a bit unwarranted. Especially
> considering that many new PC designs have gone over to all plastic covers,
> and plastic case covers for PCs have been around in one fashion or another
> for a long time. Just about any consumer electronic product has potential

to
> catch fire should something go terribly wrong, and heavy use of plastics

is
> the norm in consumer electronics. I don't see the PC as being any more of

a
> fire hazard than the average DVD, VCR, or television set. And for the
> record, as I'm typing this out, I'm sitting here watching "Master and
> Commander" on a 32" TV with an all-plastic cabinet, playing from a DVD
> player with an all plastic housing, getting a cool breaze from my
> oscillating fan (all plastic housing) while sitting in front of my 15" LCD
> monitor with an all plastic housing, printing out photos from my digital
> camera on an HP Photosmart 1215 with an all plastic housing, being fed by

my
> PC in an aluminum case with a big plexiglass side window.
>
> Perspective, Michael.



TV's
http://www.startribune.com/viewers/s...&story=3639733

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml73/73021.html

Printers
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&i...rk+Z65+%2Bfire

http://www.firemarshals.org/issues/h.../consumers.pdf

Monitors
http://hardware.silicon.com/desktops...0005796,00.htm

Plastic housing heater
http://home.att.net/~jriegle/heatfire.htm

Fans
http://classaction.findlaw.com/recal...nov/84066.html


Bottom line Thor, plastic housing electronic components have caused many,
many fires and many lives have been lost. Don't you recall how many fires
were started by the early "instant on" TV's? Standard PC housings have no
such hazard due to design. I for one would not want a 10" x 10" piece of
Plexiglas and rubber gasket exposed to a potential fire. Plexiglas burns
readily and produces a good deal of combustion byproducts, namely smoke and
fumes.

You can find no such links for PC fire hazards but I believe that will
change with recent addition of massive plastic housings and plastic side
panels to PC's.
I for one want no part of such enclosures.

Plexiglas / Acrylic
http://www.atofinachemicals.com/atog...t/PLA17c21.cfm







 
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Thor
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      05-09-2004
>
> Bottom line Thor, plastic housing electronic components have caused many,
> many fires and many lives have been lost. Don't you recall how many fires
> were started by the early "instant on" TV's? Standard PC housings have no
> such hazard due to design. I for one would not want a 10" x 10" piece of
> Plexiglas and rubber gasket exposed to a potential fire. Plexiglas burns
> readily and produces a good deal of combustion byproducts, namely smoke

and
> fumes.
>
> You can find no such links for PC fire hazards but I believe that will
> change with recent addition of massive plastic housings and plastic side
> panels to PC's.
> I for one want no part of such enclosures.


It falls under the realm of acceptable risk for most reasonable people. I'm
not a bit worried about the plethora of plastic-encased electronic products
in my home, nor do I live in mortal fear of my plexiglass PC side window. I
think your paranoia of plastic is way out of proportion to the actual
likelihood of a problem that would involve a fire.


 
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