Clothing / Smoothing / Steam Irons


The 2005 National Electrical Code (Section 422.46) Requires Flatirons and Smoothing Irons be Equipped with an Identified Temperature Limiting Means.

UL Standard 1005 Requires that No Surface of the Iron Gets Hotter than 662°F, "A Condition that Could Cause a Fire".

The U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) Estimates that in 1998 there were 400 Residential Structural Fires Due to Irons. CPSC 1980-1998 Residential Fire Loss Estimates.

Fabric Ignition Temperature °F Safe Ironing Temperatures °F
Linen 490-750 445
Cotton 490-750 400
Wool 1060-1110 300
Polyester 840-1040 300
Rayon/Viscose 790 375
Nylon 840-1060 275
Spandex/Lycra 780 275
Acrylic 860-1050 275
Acetate 820-1000 290
  * NFPA Fire Protection Handbook * Online Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Case History: F03-002 - The owner of this iron was going out of town. She was behind schedule. The last thing she did before leaving her residence was to iron a blouse on the bed. A copper bead was found on the power cord to iron, which indicated the cord was energized at time of the fire. The control knob is in the "On" position.

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Proctor-Silex 01
Iron in the Fire Matches Exemplar Proctor-Silex Iron.
Proctor-Silex 02
The Pattern on the Bottom of the Irons Match.
Proctor-Silex 03
Copper Beading on Power Cord.
Proctor-Silex 04
Exemplar Iron Tag - Hamilton Beach / Proctor-Silex - 1000 Watts.
Proctor-Silex 05
The Measured Heating Element Resistance was 14.4 Ohms,
Which Corresponds to 1,000 Watts.
Proctor-Silex 06
The Measured Heating Element Resistance was 14.2 Ohms,
Which Corresponds to 1,014 Watts.
Proctor-Silex 08
Thermal Cutoff (TCO)- Looped Metal Held in Place with
Low Melting Solder. It Did Not Melt at 534 °F.
Proctor-Silex 07
Activated Thermal Cutoff (TCO).
Proctor-Silex 07
The Contacts of this Iron were Not Stuck or Welded Together.
Proctor-Silex 07
The Cycling Temperature was 235 °F to 248 °F.

Case History: F17-072 - This clothing iron was given to me by a Certified Fire Investigation (CFI) that said it was the only thing in a large closet with an ironing board that could have been the ignition source for the fire.

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First View of Damaged True Living Essentials Iron
First View of True Living Essentials Iron sent to me for Examination.
Second View of Damaged True Living Essentials Iron
Second View of True Living Essential Iron sent to me for Examination.
Iron Themostat Setting
The Thermostat was between Medium and Max Heat.
 The Heating Element was 12.3 Ohms = 1,170 Watts
The Heating Element was 12.3 Ohms, which corresponds to 1,170 Watts.
The Thermostat Contacts were not welded welded together.
The Thermostat Contacts were NOT Welded Together.
Identified as a TLE Model 1700
The Subject Iron was a True Living Essesntials Model 1700 - Distributed by Select Brands in Kansas - and Sold at Dollar General.
The TCO value was 240 degrees Celsius.
The Value of Thermal Cutoff (TCO) was 240 °C (464 °F)..
Iron Test with Fleece Jacket
The Exemplar Iron was placed on a Fleece Jacket for Three Hours. The Maxium Temperature Cycled between 310 to 370 °F. The Heating Element was ON for 5 sec & OFF for 170 sec.
Three Hour Fleece JacksetTests
At Three Hours, the Only Thing that was Brown was the Thermocouple Tape.
Three Hour Clothes Basket Test
The Exemplar Iron was also placed in a Simulated Clothes Basket for Three Hours.

Case History: Exemplar Durabrand Flatiron Purchased at Wal-Mart in 2006 for $6.54.

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Durabrand Iron 01
Durabrand Flatiron Purchased at Wal-Mart in 2006 for $6.54.
Durabrand Iron 02
Manufacturer's Tag. The UL file # E91117 is Registered to Tsann Kuen Enterprise in Taiwan.
Durabrand Iron 03
Flatiron Metal Body.
Durabrand Iron 04
Thermostat and Thermal Cutoff (TCO).
Durabrand Iron 05
Thermostat - The Bottom Bimetal Element Bends
with Temperature and Separates the Contacts.
Durabrand Iron 06
The Value of Thermal Cutoff (TCO) was 240 °C (464 °F).
Durabrand Iron 07
The Measured Heating Element Resistance was 13.5 ohms,
Which Corresponds to 1,067 Watts.
Durabrand Iron 08
The Cycling Temperature Was 351 °F to 401 °F, and It Went
From Room Temperature to Its Maximum in less than one Minute.
Durabrand Iron 08
The Temperature at the Thermostat was
Between 15-32 °F Cooler than the Iron.
Durabrand Iron 08
Thermostat Date Sheet: 180 °C (356 °F) was the ~ Trip Point. The 25 °C (45 °F) Differential Matched the Measured Values.

Case History: Exemplar Black & Decker ("Applica") Iron Purchased at Wal-Mart in 2006 for $26.67.

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Durabrand Iron 01
Black & Decker, "The Classic", Model F63D.
Durabrand Iron 02
Pattern on Bottom of Iron
Durabrand Iron 07
Manufacturer's Tag - Model F63D - 1,100 Watts.
Durabrand Iron 03
Major Components.
Durabrand Iron 04
Thermostat, Heating Element, and Thermal Cutoff (TCO).
Durabrand Iron 05
Thermal Cutoff - 216 °C (421 °F).
Durabrand Iron 06
The Measured Heating Element Resistance was 13.0 Ohms,
Which Corresponds to 1,108 Watts.
Durabrand Iron 06
The Cycling Temperature Was 213 °F to 239 °F.

Case History: Exemplar Sunbeam Iron with Timed Auto-Off Purchased at Wal-Mart in 2006 for $14.23.

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Durabrand Iron 01
Sunbeam Iron, Model 3985, with Timed Auto-Off - 1100 Watts.
Durabrand Iron 02
Pattern on Bottom of Iron
Durabrand Iron 03
Flatiron Metal Body.
Durabrand Iron 04
Thermostat, Heating Element, and Thermal Cutoff (TCO).
Durabrand Iron 05
Thermal Cutoff - 240 °C (464 °F).
Durabrand Iron 06
Thermostat - The Bottom Bimetal Element Bends
with Temperature and Separates the Contacts.
Durabrand Iron 06
The Measured Heating Element Resistance was 13.4 Ohms,
Which Corresponds to 1,075 Watts.
Durabrand Iron 06
30 Minute Auto-Off Electronics in Iron Handle.
Durabrand Iron 06
The Cycling Temperature Was 351 °F to 372 °F.

The You Tube video below depicts two burning irons when all of the controls have been bypassed.

You Tube Video of Iron with Controls Bypassed

 

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