Saturday, August 15, 2009

FIRE!

I was styling my hair yesterday when my dryer just turned off. I pressed the reset button and got it to start up again. After a few seconds, the dryer shut off once more. Again, I pressed the reset button on the dryer. When that didn't work, I unplugged it, pressed the reset button on the GFCI outlet, and plugged the dryer back in. After hitting the reset button on the dryer a few more times, it finally started again, only to turn off a few seconds later. What the heck is wrong with my dryer, I wondered. I started to reach for the plug once again when POOF! flames shot out from the cord near the outlet. It was on fire and all I could do was stand there and point to it shouting, "It's on fire! It's on fire! OH MY GOSH, IT'S ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!" I think we can all agree that I handle stressful situations in a calm, logical manner.

Joe came by and unplugged the flaming appliance of death before I let it burn the house down as I stood there babbling about fire. Yeah, yeah, I was worried about the house catching on fire, and concerned about the "what ifs" of my kids using the dryer, but more importantly, I was overwrought with the fact that I had no way of finishing my hair and I was certain I was going to look like the guy from Flock of Seagulls!

Today, after buying a new dryer (that's PINK!), I took a closer look at the spontaneous combustion dryer. This is what I found...

burned-out cord


black spots that are left on the wall


And then I read this.

WARNING: TEST BEFORE EACH USE
1. PLUG INTO POWER OUTLET
2. PRESS TEST BUTTON. RESET BUTTON SHOULD POP UP.
3. FOR USE, PRESS RESET BUTTON AGAIN. DO NOT USE IF TEST FAILS.


Now a person with half a brain would realize when the button pops up repeatedly and the dryer turns off, that the safety mechanism is trying to prevent damage and injury. I, on the other hand, managed to disable the safety feature and nearly burn the house down. And no, the dryer was not clogged with hair. I clean it regularly. And no, Clay didn't try to the take the dryer apart to see how it works, leaving it a fiery death trap. And no, although tempting, I didn't do it on purpose to try and get a team of firemen over to my house. But now you know, those pretty little red and blue buttons are there for a reason. If your dryer doesn't want to work, there may just be a good reason for it. Unless you want to have your hair look like this...


just unplug it and walk away.
This has been a public service announcement.

37 comments:

Ladybug Mama said...

Oh my goodness. I can't believe that happened. Although I must say that I too would probably just stand there screaming fire instead of actually doing anything. Thanks so much for the advice on the blue and red buttons. I'll definitely be more careful in the future. www.ladybugmamaof2.blogspot.com

Totally Desperate Mom said...

I love that fire hair man at the bottom of your post. He looks kinda nice.

Lisa said...

OMG.... Laughing my butt off here, because I SO FEEL YOUR PAIN.... Been there, DONE THAT!

And I do love that you added Mr Heat Meister at the end of your post.... He he he......

Laura G said...

Whoo, glad you (and your family!) survived it! I have had two hair dryers self combust over the years, one which I whipped onto the carpet, only to then have to worry about the melting floor. Also a toaster oven that wouldn't turn off and started cabinets on fire. So I have learned to unplug appliances when not in use, so they don't ignite when we're not around. That's my add-on to your P.S.A! Keep the laughs coming, and enjoy your last days of summer!

Anonymous said...

Wow! How scary!! I probably would have done the same thing--just keep pushing the button and trying again till the dang thing worked! SO scary.

Anonymous said...

P.S. LOL on trying to get a team of firemen to your house!

Lynn from For Love or Funny said...

Scary! I'm so glad that you are okay!

jesmerchek+kids=pure craziness said...

Scary!
Mine did this a few weeks ago, only instead of shooting flames by the outlet, it shot flames out the front, nearly catching ME on fire. EEK! The things we go thru for beauty!

Scrapingirl said...

Holy Moly!!! That is both scary and funny at the same time. I never read the directions on my dryer either. But, now I know if it shuts off a lot during a single use....RUN!! :) A fire in a fireman's house. My hubby would never be able to live that down. :) I'm glad you didn't burn the house down.

Bailey's Leaf said...

It's his name the Heat Miser? Hee hee! Glad that you didn't burn the joint down and you've shared your valuable lesson with all of us.

pednurse said...

Yes, always heed the warning of the device shutting off repeatedly. I have actually had my hairdryer burst into flames TWICE. The first time was before they had the nifty little safety devices on them to shut them off....and flames literally shot clear across the bathroom and scorched the wallpaper on the other side of the room! After the 2nd time, I picked a hairstyle that does not require a hairdryer to achieve....

noexcuses said...

I know it wasn't funny at the time, but I chuckle at the thought of the look on your face! I would do exactly the same as you! So glad it wasn't one of the kids!

Thanks for the public service!

Laura said...

Dawn, I'm an engineer, I don't have any kids (yet) and I don't use my hairdryer as much as I did when I was younger, and I build crap now (grad school), and I would have done EXACTLY what you did, except the part with the yelling about fire (since Larry would have probably come in and freaked out, I'd have had to put out the fire myself). So don't feel bad! I read what you wrote and thought, yup, I'd have hit that reset button a million times, especially because when dealing with my hair I am always stressed out!

I could probably poll the entire department and I imagine they'd have done the same. The point is that YOU FOUND OUT what was supposed to have happened and you WON'T do it again. I hope you tell your kids!

Sheri said...

Okay, I am sorry, but I was really hoping for the flock of seagulls photo! LOL Glad everything turned out okay.

Robin said...

I'm so glad you weren't injured. It could have somehow turned in to a Michael Jackson moment...think Coke commercial hair fire.....

Golden To Silver Val said...

oh....there's buttons on the plug?

MaBunny said...

Well thank goodness only the dryer caught fire and not your house or you for that matter!

Kerry said...

Our plugs don't have anything like that on them, we're just left to be set on fire before we notice it needs to be binned. My hair dryer did that in December at a friends, the sparks and fire decided to come out of the end where the cable goes into the hair dryer, right below my hand. Although i managed to whip it out of the socket before setting her carpet and flat on fire, she'd only just moved in so i doubt she wanted to go house hunting again.

MotherGoose518 said...

I have totally had a blow dryer catch fire while I was using it before. Except the flames came out of the part where the air blows out of. And fortunately it died out immediately. It was dramatic and anticlimatic in one fell swoop! I will say, it took me a little while before I felt safe using a blow dryer again!

MotherGoose518 said...

P.S. Hellooooo hair dryer manufacturers!!! If you don't want us hitting that reset button over and over again you'd better sell those suckers two to a package. 'Cause when a girl's gotta do her hair, a girl's gotta do her hair! Pretty much your only other option is to make them without reset buttons and have them just die. It's kind of like guys stopping to ask for directions or being too tired for sex. Not. Gonna. Happen.

The Hall Family said...

Oh my you are so funny. I stumbled across your blog on someone else's website. I am now following and reading your other stories on your blog. Thanks you making me laugh!--Alicia

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

So THAT's what the red button is for?? I never knew it!!! I know I'm never going to use that test button though. As if I have time for testing things at 7am in the morning?

Anonymous said...

"I'm Mr. Heat Miser, I'm Mr. Sun. I'm Mr. Heat Miser, I'm Mr. 101!!" Thanks for putting that song in my head in the middle of August, Dawn! ;)

Also, thanks for the public service announcement. However, I'll probably still keep pushing the reset button over and over. LOL

Donna in PA :)

Michelle said...

Ok, so I'm totally not testing a hair dryer each time I use it but ummm wow, what an object lesson. Thank God Joe was there to help, no? Enjoy that new pink dryer -- if you ever get to NYC to use it!

Cookie said...

Wow! What a scare! So how did you manage to get your hair done?!

Cookie said...

Oh, and I almost forgot to ask, did you by chance get to have any cute fireman over???

Meg said...

Ok when I read the part about you resetting the buttons over and over I cringed and wanted to scream "NO - don't do that! Those are SAFETY features! It's cutting out for a REASON! DANGER Will Robinson! DANGER!" I thankfully was able to hold my tongue 'cause otherwise I would've been mighty embarassed since I'm at work and all. Glad the damage was minor and that everything is ok. I'm also glad you learned from your mistake and hopefully this will teach others the importance of those buttons.
I know getting the hair just right is important, but living should be a higher priority.

The Mommy said...

This happened to me with my hand mixer. I was trying to make something called "seafoam icing" (and no, sadly, it's not green) for my MIL for her birthday. It requires that you beat the stuff with a mixer while heating over a double boiler. Flames shot out of the mixer and it stopped working. I let it cool down and then finished the icing...afterall, this was my Mother-in-Law we're talking about here!

Allison said...

It's amazing how close we come to disaster each day! This is someone up there watching over us!!!

Silvia said...

OMG, I've never read the caution note on mine, I guess I should! I'm glad everything was contained on time. I would be friking out to burn my house down too!

I'm looking forward to meeting you in Chicago

Erin said...

LOL!!! You and I react the same way to fiery situations. I almost burned down the kitchen; watching the flames jump out of the pot and thinking to myself "gee that was close to my eye brows."

Yes, it is sad, but I too would have repeatedly pressed the reset button. Thank you for such a simple reminder.

Rachel said...

Holy cow! Did you know.. I have never paid attention to those buttons. Except on occasion, to hit the reset button when my blow dryer wouldn't turn on.
YOWZA! I won't be quite so cavalier about it now!!

Looking forward to meeting you on Wednesday, in Chicago.

Carie said...

Hilarious! But the blame is not all on you: the warning should be more obvious! :-)

Nic said...

So glad you are safe, the house didn't burn down and that Joe was right there to fix everything :) I had no idea that the purpose of those buttons, aside from reset was to warn someone using the appliance that there is a malfunction. Thanks for clearing this up!!

Musings of a Housewife said...

OMIGOSH. That happened to me in high school. I burned my thumb pretty badly. Glad no one got hurt!

atprinc said...

Yikes! That happened to me just this week too... hmm... I wonder if it was the same kind of dryer. I ended up with a burn hole in my favorite robe and a new pink dryer from Target too!

Ladybug said...

Good Lord! I am dying laughing here! That would be something that would happen to me!

Sara
www.ladybugsandlilypads.com

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