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This recall involves power cords supplied with certain Bosch, Gaggenau, Kenmore Elite and Thermador brand dishwashers that were manufactured from January 2008 through December 2013. Model and serial numbers are located on the top side of the dishwashers’ inner door panels.

See the full details at CPSC


This recall involves Edge, Edge XLT and Wrangler lawn mowers. The red riding lawn mowers have a gray seat with a foam cushion, black arm rests and either black or gray joystick or twin lever steering.  “Country Clipper” and the model name appear in black letters on the front under the seat and on the sides of the lawn mower. Recalled Country Clipper model numbers are as follows. The model number is located on a silver metal plate on the mower’s side rail.


See the full details at CPSC


Many times, a fire investigator will conclude that a device was electrically energized at the time of a fire based on the presence of a bead on a wire.  If an energized device is present in the area of origin, it is likely that it will be considered as a potential cause of a fire.  Some training guides put forth that beads can only be formed from arcing on wires that were electrically energized when they were exposed to a fire or caused a fire. Therefore, the presence or absence of a bead on a wire can have a strong influence on the direction of a fire investigation.  Hence, it is important to have a clear understanding of the various electrical and thermal conditions which can produce beads on electrical wires.

The main objective of this research was to determine, experimentally, if distinguishing characteristics exist between energized and non-energized wires subjected to various types of fire exposures.  The large majority of research published in the literature has not tested energized and non-energized wires under the same conditions.  A total of more than 190 wires were tested under various fire conditions.  Wire types included 12-gauge and 14-gauge solid conductors and 16-gauge and 18-gauge stranded conductors.  The tests were conducted using a bench-scale, premixed flame impingement apparatus, a bench-scale 125 kW/m2 radiant tunnel apparatus, a 2/5-scale flashover compartment, and a full-scale flashover compartment.  The use of various types of exposure conditions ensured that the characteristics on the wires (or lack thereof) were not caused by one specific type of thermal insult.  Wires were tested in both an energized and non-energized state.  Energized wires were tested under “load” and “no load” conditions.  Under load conditions, the energized wires were plugged into a 110-120 volt power source with 9 to 13 amps of current.  Under “no load” conditions, the wires were plugged into the power supply, but no current was flowing in the circuit.

Based on preliminary studies conducted by the authors, it was hypothesized that characteristic “arc-beads” could be formed on non-energized wires as well as energized wires.  Additionally, it was hypothesized that the formation of a bead on a wire was not a function of its “energized state”, but a function of its “thermal state”.  This hypothesis is based on the laws of physics, which states that liquids tend to form spherical structures due to cohesive surface forces.  These hypotheses are in opposition of the current state-of-the-art in the field, which states that beads can only be formed on energized wires.  Another review of all the test samples is still underway; however, these hypotheses are supported by the current research findings and sample analyses results.  No trends or distinguishing visual or microscopic characteristics between energized and non-energized wires have been found in the samples reviewed to-date.  Whether a wire was energized with load, energized without load, or non-energized had no significant effect on the visual or microscopic characteristics of the wire.  Round copper globules with clear lines of demarcation, traditionally defined as “beads”, were produced on both energized and non-energized wires.  Some energized wires that did arc failed to produce round copper globules with clear lines of demarcation, while some non-energized wires that did not arc did produce these characteristic beads.  Under a microscope, beads from some of the energized wires were porous and contained a large quantity of internal void spaces, while other beads contained no void spaces.  This same trend was true for non-energized wires.  A study of selected samples under SEM/EDS also showed no trends in grain structure or chemical compositions.

A detailed metallurgical study of internal grain structures of the beads was also performed.  The inner grain structures of the beads were studied for structure sizes, porosity, and general changes.  None of the physical aspects of the beads studied showed any definitive, distinguishing traits between energized and non-energized wires.  There was one trait, an internal line of demarcation, which was found on forty percent (40%) of the energized beads but only found in one of the non-energized beads.  The internal line of demarcation was marked by the abrupt change of the grain size between the bead and the adjoining wire.  Of the beads that showed this characteristic, half of the samples had larger grain structures on the bead when compared to the wire, and the other half revealed the opposite condition.  Since one of the non-energized beads did have an internal line of demarcation, it is not possible to conclude with 100% certainty that the presence of an internal line of demarcation indicates that a wire was energized at the time of bead formation.  Additionally, since not all of the energized wires exhibited an internal line of demarcation, it is not possible to say that the absence of an internal line of demarcation indicates that a wire was non-energized.

Click here for the  Full Report (This is a large file and may take a moment or two to open)

In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.


by Dennis Field, Senior Fire Investigator
Fire Cause Analysis

Fire investigators with suppression experience recall that fear of getting called out of bed to return to a fire that had already been extinguished as the “Rekindle Nightmare!”

As fire investigators, we occasionally forget our roots and grumble about the extent of overhaul by the suppression crews as they “destroyed my fire patterns.”  This is a description of an incident with the need for overhaul and a warning for investigators.



This recall involves Nestlé three and five gallon cold and hot water dispensers. The units are white and silver in color and measure about 38 inches tall by 13 inches wide. Water is dispensed from the large plastic water bottle on the top of the unit through the machine by pushing on the paddles below that are marked with blue for cold water and red for hot water. The Nestlé Waters North America logo is on the front of the units. Only the following model and serial numbers are included in this recall. The model and serial numbers are printed on a white sticker on the back of the units.

Details can be seen at CPSC.


Model Numbers
Serial Numbers
















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NHTSA Recall - Exhaust Pipe Leak may Result in Fire


Nova Bus (Nova) is recalling certain model year 2007 LFS transit buses manufactured January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2007. In the affected vehicles, the band clamp on the flex pipe between the turbocharger and the diesel particulate filter may be incorrectly located allowing the exhaust pipe to leak hot exhaust gases onto nearby components.

See full details at NHTSA

Development of Standardized Cooking Fires For Evaluation of Prevention Technologies

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Development of Standardized Cooking Fires for Evaluation of Prevention Technologies: Data Analysis"
Authors: Joshua Dinaburg, Daniel Gottuk – Hughes Associates, Inc.

July 2014 report

Beginning in 2010, the Foundation began a program to review the potential effectiveness of various technologies potentially capable of preventing cooking range top fires. A workshop conducted as part of that project considered the emergence of commercial products on the market and identified the need to develop standardized tests and criteria to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of such devices. This report summarizes and analyzes the results of two live fire test series conducted to form the basis for such a test protocol.

pdf Download the report.  (PDF, 5 MB) pdf Download the executive summary. (PDF, 20 KB)

October 2013 report

Cooking-equipment related fires are a leading cause of U.S. fire loss. Beginning in the mid 1980’s, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and home appliance industry undertook a comprehensive review of strategies to mitigate death, injury and property loss from cooking fires. All strategies were engineering strategies defined by a condition to be detected (e.g., overheat of pan or food in pan, absence of person actively engaged in cooking process, early-stage fire on stovetop) and an action to be taken (e.g., shut off cooking heat, sound alarm, suppress fire). As part of this study, a comprehensive review of existing technologies was done.

In 2010, the Foundation conducted a study supported by NIST to develop this action plan. The study focused particularly on prevention technologies suitable for use on or with home cooking appliances. and consisted of a literature and technology review; the development of an enhanced technology evaluation methodology based on an in-depth review of cooking fire statistics; and the evaluation of currently available technologies using this methodology. The project culminated with a one day workshop of 35 leaders from the kitchen appliance, fire service, and user communities who met to review the above findings and identify gaps in information. The highest priority action item identified at that workshop toward implementation of commercially available cooking fire mitigation technologies was: "Develop standard fire scenarios and create test methods and performance criteria which can feed into standards development"

This report presents the results of a follow on project sponsored by NIST to gather data towards this goal.

pdf Download the report.  (PDF, 2 MB)

NHTSA Recall - Cooling Fan Resistor May Melt


Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2014 Kia Forte vehicles manufactured December 5, 2012, to April 17, 2014. In the affected vehicles, the cooling fan resistor may overheat and melt.

See full details at NHTSA

Fire Investigation 101 has just published a collection of their favorite fire investigation sites and the California Conference of Arson Investigators is listed:

This site has loads of information and resources for education in the field of fire investigations.

Wind Driven Fires

Wind blowing into the broken window of a room on fire can turn a "routine room and contents fire" into a floor-to-ceiling firestorm. Historically, this has led to a significant number of firefighter fatalities and injuries, particularly in high-rise buildings where the fire must be fought from the interior of the structure.

Wind-Driven Fire in a Ranch-Style House in Texas, 2009

On April 12, 2009, a fire in a one-story ranch home in Texas claimed the lives of two fire fighters.  Sustained high winds occurred during the incident.  The winds caused a rapid change in the dynamics of the fire after the failure of a large section of glass in the rear of the house.

Wind Driven Fire in Home, Texas, 2009. Aerial view of damage to the structure. Photo credit: Houston Fire Department.

Wind Driven Fire in Home, Texas, 2009. Aerial view of damage to the structure. Photo credit: Houston Fire Department.

NIST performed computer simulations of the fire using the Fire Dynamic Simulator (FDS)  and Smokeview, a visualization tool, to provide insight on the fire development and thermal conditions that may have existed in the residence during the fire.


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