Friday, 14 May 2010

Warning, Warning!!!

You know the saying about lightning not striking twice? Well, heat guns do!!!!! Four years ago, we had a fire at our home which was the result of me not unplugging the heat gun when not in use. Our little doggie, Scoob, manage to knock the lead of the heat gun with his extremely waggy tail and as it landed on the floor it turned on the flick switch. As we were not at home at the time, it smoldered for many hours causing an amazing amount of smoke damage to our house. It was so bad that we had to move out and live in a hotel for three weeks whilst the insurance company arranged for everything to be cleaned or thrown away and the whole house rebuilt and redecorated.
Since that awful incident, I have been very careful with heat guns and I always switch them off in the workshop every night. Yesterday I had the shock of my life when we had a fire at the shop and yes, it was another heat gun incident. Although the damage was nowhere as severe as the house fire, I got more than I shock when I found the fire.


I had been working in the workshop on new class samples and popped downstairs to the shop to get something for my project. As I was returning to the workshop, I could hear a noise and realised that the only thing it could possible be was a heat gun. I ran up the stairs to find my chair on fire!!! Seriously on fire!!!! I mean big, giant flames on fire!!! So there I am yelling for Karen whilst trying to smother the fire. I realised that Karen would never hear me so I jumped hard on the floor and she thought I had fallen so came running up the stairs at the speed of light. Apparently I yelled at her to call 911 (I obviously only watch American TV programmes!!) and it also dawned on me that I didn't have anything large enough to smother the fire so ran down to the shop for the fire extinguisher. Then panic set in and I couldn't pull the pin on the extinguisher. Karen was amazing, she just took over and after a short struggle with said gadget, she put the fire out.
It took 15 minutes for the fire brigade to arrive, then three of them and two ambulances came!!!As you can imagine, it was not a nice experience but if Karen had not had her sensible head on on that day, it would have been absolutely devastating, so I can't thank her enough.
So the reason for this post is to warn everyone, please make sure you do not leave your heat gun switched on at the wall when you are not using it. I was only gone for two minutes....it toppled off the table and landed on a foam chair and the result is this.

We need to have a new carpet, it has taken a day and a half to clean up the mess that the fire extinguisher made, we have to redecorate the workshop and try to get rid of the smell!!!! But, I am thankful, Karen and I are both safe, we are insured and it will all be fine but if I can stop this from happening to just one person then that would be great. After all, it has now happened to me twice!!!

Having said all of the above, I am upset that I lost my two pieces of artwork and I am even more upset that I lost my Ranger apron that I got when I went to Ranger U., but I have really enjoyed the chocolates that were sent to me by a dear friend aka "the chocolate fairy" to cheer me up!!!

Now go and unplug that heat gun!!!!

Lin x

49 comments:

PeggyR said...

WOW the main thing is that you are ok! Never heard of episodes like that with heat guns. Mine are always unplugged unless I'm using them.

Carol Q said...

do you know, I've never unplugged my heat gun and it's made me realise how lucky I've been over the last 12 years!! it's now unplugged and thanks for the warning Lin.

Kim said...

OMG, Lin!! I am so glad you're safe and that minimal damage was done. My heat gun is currently plugged in--I am on my way to unplug it right now! Thank you for the safety reminder, and take care!

Elaine A said...

Lin -

Thank you for the warning. I keep my heat gun on a hook, but it is plugged into the wall current. I will be unplugging it pronto! I'm so glad you are both safe. Although I have to admit to a chuckle when you said you asked Karen to call 911!

Elaine Allen

Chris said...

So glad you are both okay. What a shock it must have been. I'm off to unplug my heat gun right now!

btw I believe 911 will actually work in the UK.

Wendy said...

Lin, so glad you are both okay and your shop survived. I called Karen as soon as I heard, she is one cool lady. Even the best of us are prone to this kind of accident and I recall Suze Weinburg telling me at CHA that her gun had fallen under her demo desk and melted the carpet before they realised what was going on! Again, so glad all ended well and my guns are now all unplugged x

Helen said...

Oh, not again!! Ever since you told me about the fire at your house, I have been meticulous about unplugging my heat gun after I use it. (although I do leave it to go to make tea!)
So glad you and Karen aren't hurt, and I am sure Ranger will send you another apron!!
Take CARE xxx

Fliss said...

So sorry to hear about this Linda. Hope you manage to get everything sorted after the shock.
Thanks for the warning too.
xx

Linda Elbourne said...

I am just glad you guys are alright ... I am yet to see Karen without her sensible head ... perhaps we should get her tipsy :0) I am not sure if I have mentioned the fact that I am going to Ranger U ... I will ask real nice and hopefully they will let me bring you back a replacement X

Heavens2Betsy said...

Oh my goodness, what a terrifying tale! I am glad that nobody was hurt and will bear your experience firmly in mind. I'm just of to check that I've unplugged! Keep safe. Penny

Sarah Anderson said...

Good to hear that you guys are ok, and the workshop and the shop. I'm great with my heat gun as it's in the cellar so it really bothers me, but I'm terrible with my hair straightners. Thanks for the warning

Karin said...

OMG what a shock for you! I always have my heat gun plugged in and power switched on at the plug. I've just sorted that out.
Thank you for the warning. Really glad that both you and Karen are ok.

LOL @ 911 it should have been 112

Lottie said...

So very sorry that you had another incident with the heat gun. Thank heavens that you and Karen are safe and sound. I can understand how very upset you are - and at the loss of your artwork and apron - but however sad you feel - they are just 'things' - precious yes - but you safe, your premises will be restored, and I am sure that Ranger or Tim himself will be able to get his/their hands on another apron for you.

I am terrified of fire - so do turn off all my things in the garden studio etc.

Fire is so uncontrollable isn't it - and that's what is so scary.

Thinking of you
xxx

cantstopstampin said...

I am so so glad you are both OK. A fire of any description is very frightening (I had a chip pan go up in flames once when my little boy was just 12 months old) - fortunately I did the right thing and threw a damp cloth over it - didn't touch it and turned off the heat - but the smoke was horrendous. That chair looks terrible. AGAIN, thankful that you were both OK.

Linda Cain said...

Yes, we all know better, but we don't do it. So sorry for the mess, but glad you're OK.

I've heard of this happening before.

I'll unplug right now!

Linda

craftimamma said...

Yikes Linda, how horrible for it to happen again. I'm so glad neither you nor Karen was hurt in any way.

I have to admit to leaving my heat gun plugged in but I always switch off at the socket. I'm now going to unplug as well I think.

My daughter has only just started crafting and I gave her my spare heat gun last week so I've sent her a link to this post just in case.

Hugs
Lesley Xx

Paula Gale said...

OMG Lin - thank god you are OK... How shocking for you... I'll take heed of your advice - but I only use mine occassionally and ALWAYS unplug it and take it out of the socket after each use.

you wouldn't realise it would cause that much devastation - twice too!!!

Take care

Paula x x x

chris'nlinda said...

Oh Lin, thank God you are both o.k. What a terrifying experience! And yes, I have gone into my craft room and immediately unplugged both heat guns (I'm terrified one will just pack up one day!)It made me cry to see your chair! But, as others have said -things are replaceable - but you definitely are not! It is horrible to think about how scared you were. I would, and do, go to pieces at times like that. Thank all that is wonderful for Karen - 'Super K' to the rescue! What a star! Love and prayers, Chris

Starla said...

I try not to leave my heat gun plugged in, but yesterday I left it and just kept walking by it. It is now UNplugged and put away!! I'm glad you are both safe and thank you for the kick in the rear to pay attention to the little details!

Sandra Hall said...

Glad you and Karen are both ok. I've heard of similar incidents with heat guns but I confess to leaving mine plugged in - eeeek! Today is the last day I will do that.

Lynn Stevens said...

Wow, Thanks for the warning, although a terrible way to find out how bad they can be! I'll never leave mine plugged in again! Glad your both o.k.

Jennie said...

Lin, I cannot believe lightning struck twice to you. Thank goodness you are ok. I have to say after your first incident, I always switch my gun off at the mains now.
A big hug to you Hun, and evrything can be replaced, but not you! Well done to Karen
Hugs xx

flutterbycrafter said...

Thank goodness you're both ok. My husband is always telling me off for not unplugging things, so I daren't show him this, but thanks for the warning, I will unplug from now on. Sorry to hear your projects and apron didn't survive.

Anesha said...

Thankfully no one was hurt. It must have been a terrible experience. Thanks for posting the warning, I never unplug my heat-gun but will now! Hugs Anesha

Carol said...

What a frightening experience for you both - Karen definately appears to be one calm lady!

Thank you for the warning. I too, am terrified of fire and always take care with my hairdryer too!

Sorry to hear about your art work and your apron - but, glad that no one was hurt.

Thank You for last weekend too xx

judith@poppy cottage said...

My heat gun is the really quiet type, and twice the switch has been knocked, and it's been turned on, merrily heating through the wire. We happily use them without thinking about how dangerous they COULD be. Glad that you are okay, that is the important thing. Judith x

Hels Sheridan said...

Blinking 'eck hun... that is a nightmare!!!! and thank you for the warning... mine is always just plugged in and I would never have thought to unplug it. Will be doing that from now on... bless you, hope you are over the shock of it all.. and as for the extinguisher, they are a pain trying to get the pin out .. .they should make some especially for us girls who haven't got big strong hands..sending hugs for you and Karen xxx

Trish said...

Thank you Lin, I have gone and unplugged my heat gun, I always leave it plugged in. Not anymore!
I am so glad you and Karen are both okay, that it wasn't worse.
xxx

Anonymous said...

How scary. Thankfully you are saf ethough and there is no major damage done

Regards
Miriam

Sally Bowman said...

So sorry this happened, but glad you are OK and that Karen was there! Since you told us about your first fire I have always switched off at the wall at the end of a session, but will now also do so when I go for a little break. Hope the repairs doen't take too long.

Daniele said...

OmG glad you are both safe but you must be so upset to loose some of your work and apron, I've never swith my gun off so I will from now on, hope your weekend goes better
best wishes Daniele

Jackie said...

Sorry to hear about the fire (and thanks for the warning!). Glad everyone is safe.

The Inky Minx said...

OMG hun, how absolutly terrible, i'm so glad you are both ok...
I must confess i often leave mine plugged in.. but not any more.
Sending big hugs and sorry about your art and apron xx

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

ooh scary stuff :( but thanks for the warning I've just unplugged mine as it's plugged into the same extension as the TV in the kitchen and I'm in the living room.
Anne x

Nicks said...

OMG how awful, I have to admit to never unplugging mine, I will go and do that straight away

Glad you are OK, aprons can be replaced, Lin's cant x

Netty said...

Thank you for the warning. Glad your workshop and shop are OK and no damage to yourselves, which is the main thing.
Does that mean you will be having a smoke damaged sale........lol, can't blame me for asking !!
Take care all of you, Annette x

Val said...

OMG Lin - what a nightmare - so glad you and Karen are safe -and that you shop is OK. I am just off to bed now, and am going to unplug both my guns before I do anything else.
Take care
Hugs
Valxx

Barbara said...

I am sorry to hear about your fire. Glad you are OK. And glad the damage is not great this time. Boy your story makes me think. I keep my tool hanging on the side of a cabinet on a hook and I USUALLY put it there after I am done with that particular use. Maybe I will start unplugging the thing since the plug is right there too. I am going to the studio now to unplug. Thanks for the warning.

Sharon said...

Lin, Oh my goodness, what a close call! I'm sure it was a terrible shock after the other incident you'd had.

I have now unplugged my heat gun. Just the other day, mine fell on the floor and turned itself on! I was so thankful that I was there at the time. They're scary gadgets! We should take them more seriously!

Take care.

Sharon

DF - Heidi said...

blimey eck soooooo pleased you guys are ok.......so is that the sensible head that Karen uses at the bead fair when we met mmmmm think she leaves it at home on those days lol ;0)

Heavenly Anarchist said...

How frightening for you - glad you are okay.
I NEVER leave mine plugged in, or any other of my tools. I spent several years living in a nurses home and have put out plenty of fires in my time, usually people leaving oil in pans unattended! I'm very careful about fire.

Cath Wilson said...

Gosh, Linda - what a nightmare!! Scary stuff, isn't it? I'm glad you were unharmed and that you had help - could've been so much worse. Shame about the things you lost but they can be replaced - you can't...

Caroljenks said...

Just been pointed in the direction of your blog and this warning.
OMG what a nightmare - and TWICE!!! Guess what I did as soon as I'd finished reading.....Yep, unplugged my heat gun!

So glad you are both ok :)

Carol x

My name is CINDY...... said...

I am paranoid about my hair straighteners but never gave a thought to the heat gun which since I've had some nice new sockets that I can reach without bending has always been plugged in. Wrist now slapped, said gun unplugged and I now have something else to fret about every time I leave the house!! Glad that everything was OK in the end, can't believe your bad luck to have it happen twice!

Margarets designer cards said...

I read a thread on dccrafts, thank you for the warning, I will be very careful in future, I dont use it very often and only have it on when I am sat beside it but I will watch I dont knock it over. thanks I hope you get things sorted out soon, Margaret

jonaks said...

thanks for the warning! so glad you were safe.

Ann said...

Oh my word!! Thankfully you both are okay, but thanks also for the warning. I quite often leave mine on when in an embossing frenzy, but will now ensure it's unplugged. Take care xxx

Mole said...

Lin, I thought I'd got caught in a timewarp when I read this! I never leave my gun plugged into after what happened to you first time round .... I'm so glad you and the shop are ok, though.

Perhapos you need a big 'IS IT UNPLUGGED?' sign up somewhere near the kit so you never forget??!!!!

Prtitim said...

Your house catches fire and your dog handles the entire situation with his tail that's nice and there is no harm to your family and you also.