Example: [Collected via e-mail, 2004]
My brother and his wife learned a hard lesson this last week. Their house burned down...nothing left but ashes. They have good insurance, so the home will be replaced and most of the contents. That is the good news. However, they were sick when they found out the cause of the fire.
The insurance investigator sifted through the ashes for several hours. He had the cause of the fire traced to the master bathroom. He asked my sister-in-law what she had plugged in the bathroom. She listed the normal things....curling iron, blow dryer. He kept saying to her, "No, this would be something that would disintegrate at high temperatures." Then, my sister-in-law remembered she had a Glade
My sister-in-law had one of the plug-ins that had a small night light built in it. She said she had noticed that the light would dim....and then finally go out. She would walk in a few hours later, and the light would be back on again. The investigator said that the unit was getting too hot, and would dim and go out rather than just blow the light bulb. Once it cooled down, it would come back on. That is a warning sign. The investigator said he personally wouldn't have any type of plug in fragrance device anywhere in his house. He has seen too many burned down homes.
Thought I would warn you all. I had several of them plugged in my house. I immediately took them all down.
Origins: In early 2002, manufacturer SC Johnson invoked a voluntary recall of its Glade brand 'Extra Outlet Scented Oil Air Fresheners' (a plug-in air freshener which included its own outlet so that consumers wouldn't have to give up an outlet space to use it) because they had found a loose connection inside the extra outlet that might pose a fire hazard. There had been no actual reports of fires property damage associated with the product prior to its recall, however. In October 1994, Johnson recalled five million Glade plug-in fresheners sold between 1992 and July 1994 as a precaution after receiving
Is there any evidence that the current Glade PlugIn air freshener poses a significant fire hazard, as alleged in the message quoted above? We haven't found any studies or news reports demonstrating that
Moreover, SC Johnson noted in their response to this rumor:
SC Johnson also knows that its products do not cause fires because all of the Glade PlugIns® products have been thoroughly tested by Underwriters Laboratories and other independent laboratories, and SC Johnson products meet or exceed safety requirements.
Since consumers are leery of trusting safety information put out by the same companies that sell the products in question, we contacted the Los Angeles Fire Department and spoke to arson investigators there about their experience with fires caused by plug-in air fresheners. Not only did none of them recall such a case from personal experience, but a search of their records for the last twenty years failed to turn up a single incidence of a major structure fire (i.e., one resulting in damage exceeding $25,000) caused by a
|Looking at Potential Dangers of Plug-In Air Fresheners
(WABC-TV, New York)
|Recall of Glade® Extra Outlet Scented Oil Air Fresheners
Mulkins, Phil. "Air Freshener E-Mail Scam Stinks." Tulsa World 18 March 2008. The [Glasgow] Herald. "Air Fresheners Recalled." 8 October 1994. WABC-TV, New York. "Looking at Potential Dangers of Plug-In Air Fresheners." 19 April 2002. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"CPSC, SC Johnson Announce Recall of Glade® Extra Outlet Scented Oil Air Fresheners."
19 April 2002.