Are BOX fans dangerous????

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On 8/8/2010 2:43 PM AZ Nomad spake thus:

But it is funny (snicker, snicker).
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The fashion in killing has an insouciant, flirty style this spring,
with the flaunting of well-defined muscle, wrapped in flags.
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SPAMhoo.com> wrote:

About as revelent as the reports that have been cited that are laced with "could have happened" "might have happened" etc.
Harry K
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http://exactproductsinc.com/WordPress/?cat=2
Would you like a bib with that?
R
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Except for those which start by ignition of flammable materials.
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Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

87.3% of all statistics are made up
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On 8/8/2010 12:52 PM, jimmy wrote:

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.
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Steve Barker
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Even if they did catch on fire, big deal. You'd just have an impromptu neighborhood BBQ. If it were your family you might feel a little different, no?
R
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On 8/8/2010 3:28 PM, RicodJour wrote:

I'm just saying in all my years and all my fans, i've never seen one smoke or flame. And yes, i'd say my life experience is just as good as some lying insurance adjusters.
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Steve Barker
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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.
R
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On Sun, 08 Aug 2010 16:07:10 -0500, Steve Barker

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.
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And being alive is the most sure way to suffer death. It's a freakin' box fan, not a terrorist device, ferchrysakes!
nb
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On Sun, 08 Aug 2010 19:16:06 -0400, clare wrote:

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 motor.
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I have, for several years. The box fan in my living room that blows towards the AC.
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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.
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DUH!!
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"?
nb
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jimmy wrote:

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.
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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 house.
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...
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On 8/8/2010 4:12 PM, Larry Fishel wrote:

not to mention they block the view and the light. And isn't that what a window is for?
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wrote:

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 early.
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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.
Sonny
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