I'd say he's full of crap. I buy box fans at auctions to use in the
chicken coop. They get the full gamut of dust and feathers and who
knows what else. I just run 'em till they quit and throw them in the
burn pile. Not one has even so much as smoked.
remove the "not" from my address to email
Please explain why an insurance adjuster would lie about such a
thing. To impress people? Please, it's a fooking fan. There's no
snap, crackle and pop to that story.
All your years and all your fans...what does that mean? How many
fatal car accidents have you been in? Your cars? Does that mean
there's no such thing as a fatal car accident? Your logic is flawed.
Did you even read what the OP wrote, or are you just fond of going off
half-cocked? He wrote:
"I recently had a conversation with an insurance adjuster who told me
one of the causes of fires in a home are these box fans" One of the
reasons. He didn't say every fooking fan burned, and it doesn't sound
like some Chicken Little the-sky-is-falling schtick.
More to the point - do you think that a $20 Chinese fan is a quality
product in _any_ way shape or form? Do you know how many 'almost'
fires I've had happen? A fair number - and I only reported one to
Underwriters Laboratory. The manufacturer refused to own up to it,
but they did reconfigure the light fixture because of it. I wasn't
out any money, I didn't sue, I just wanted to make sure someone didn't
die in a fire.
I realize you're playing your role of newsgroup tough guy, and that's
fine, but have you ever watched a house burn down with people you know
in it? I did - across the street. Things like that stay with you.
People thinking there's a negligible chance of fire happening to them
is one of the reasons people don't think about things and do stupid
things. That's one of the reasons that in the not too distant future
I'd expect all of us will be paying for it in the form of mandatory
residential sprinkler systems.
Sadly past experience is no predictor of future performance since most
of what is being sold here NOW is made in China - and of poorer
quality than what was sold even last year. They make it cheaper and
cheaper every year because Wallmart (and others) demand a reduction in
cost from year to year in order to continue doing business.
US retailers and inspectors (as well as Canadian) are not keeping up
with inspections - so much of the product sold has no UL cerification
- and what does have a sticker on it, a large percentage are bogus.
That said, generally it is not the fan itself that is the problem - it
is the neglect of the fan. So the fan is a bit noisy, or it takes 5
minutes to come up to speed???? As long as it continues to move air,
it is kept running, whe a cleaning and a bit of lubricant most often
would make it run safely for another year or so.
We've been importing most of our housewares and minor electonics/
electricals from China for well over two decades. And you cannot
effectively lubricate permanently lubed bearings on a box fan motor.
So what can you do? Keep the air inlets free of debris. And listen to it.
For 20 bucks if it starts making unusual sounds or the performance
degrades, replace it. 20 bucks for a new fan is a good insurance policy
in itself. I have a whole house circulation fan in an attic window. It is
10 years old. When temps are lower than 85 it runs 24/7. It has the same
type motor as a box fan, just more power. I keep it clean of debris and it
chugs along ventilating the whole house. I prefer that to air
conditioning. I can draw air from the rear of the house that is
completely shaded by large maples and oaks and my lot ends into a densely
wooded area. This makes the air at least 10 degrees cooler giving me
natural air conditioning for the price in electricity of a 1/8 hp fan
I have seen two box fans smoke and one of them flame so far in my life.
In both cases, they gave advance warning by slowing down. In both cases,
the culprit appeared to be the motor being gummed up by dust. Both cases
were back in the 1970's.
In a third case, I restored a fan that was beginning to show signs of
trouble. What I did was disassemble the motor, clean out gummy dusty
gunk, and reassemble it. That was back around 1980, when plenty of fan
motors that were disassemblable were still around.
Dust is sometimes sticky, especially in places where frying is done.
Frying with soybean oil can lead to gummy sticky dust, since films and
small droplets of soybean oil oxidize into some sort of gum.
- Don Klipstein ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
You run any mechanical/electrical device to death with no care or
maintenance and it's bound to die a painful/flaming death.
Am I missing something, here, or are a whole buncha complete morons
claiming to be blatantly negligent and then saying, "I told you so"?
The CPSC says that of 5.6 million fans of certain models, there have
been 42 reports of fires including 8 with serious damage.
If there are 100 million households in the US, that's a risk of about 1
in 12 million of a serious fire from one of these fans. If you have one
of these fans, the risk of fire appears to be about 1 in 100,000. The
risk that one of these fans will cause a serious fire appears to be
about 1 in a million. Lasko will send owners a cord adapter for protection.
If these are the words he used, it really doesn't mean a whole lot.
Being crushed by a refrigerator is one of the causes of death in the
house. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have a refrigerator in your
The stats someone else posted suggest just over one significant fire
per MILLION of this particular brand/models of fans. Even if I found
that I had one of those models, I wouldn't consider that enough of a
risk to bother returning it... Maybe that's just me. That's a bit more
likely than your chances of being killed by lightening in the U.S.
Maybe I might keep it away from any curtains...if I had any curtains.
I don't, partially because I consider them a much worse fire risk than
a cheap fan...
I used a 21 inch fan with slightly beat-up metal case that I had found
on the street as an exhaust fan when I was scraping (sanding) my
parquet floors. It ran 8 hours a day for one or two days and within a
half hour of my finishing the scraping, it "burned" out. But there
was no fire. It just slowed to a stop with maybe a bad smell.
Maybe the extra load, sawdust for 8 or 16 hours caused it to wear out
One of 10,000 plus causes! And what was the ranking of box fans on
this list of causes?
If box fans are so deadly, why do "agencies" give them away free, to
those in need, during extra hot weather times?
Maybe one should look at the responsibleness (or is that
irresponsibleness) of the user, rather than blame the box fan.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.