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Random question: Have you ever seen a PC or peripheral start a fire?

By robo_dev ·
One reason to use a steel server cabinet for IT equipment is to ensure that any major failure is contained, so if a power supply starts blowing out sparks, it does not start a fire. In the data center, obviously, you keep paper and boxes out, since they can catch fire.

Over the years, I've only seen a couple of cases where home PC equipment failed such that starting a fire was possible. Once I saw a small UPS **** sparks out of the back of the unit, I've seen lots of components hit by lightning, and I've seen laptop power supplies get so hot the labels start to bubble.....but never an actual fire.

Of course in a data center, there is more power and more batteries, so that there is more fire risk. However there is typically a monitored smoke/heat detector, and a sprinkler and/or dry-agent fire suppression system.

But again, anybody seen anything actually burn?

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Well in one case

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Random question: Have you ...

Where during a Thunder Storm a tree fell and brought the High Voltage Distribution Lines into contact with the Low Voltage Mains I saw several feet of flame shoot out the back of one computer and set fire to the Curtain.

While potentially bad there where far worse things that happened in that house and at least 3 houses where gutted by fire of which none had a computer in it.

I however see that more as a result of the storm and not a result of Poor Design of computers.

However harking back to the Bad Old Days when those Sony NB Batteries where causing problems I saw at least 1 NB that could have started a fire. Never seen a Server Room with problems but they tend to be better protected than the average domestic situation.


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by seanferd In reply to Random question: Have you ...

X is for exploding. Built to overheat like nothing else.

Otherwise, I've seen a small desktop speaker pop and smoke, but that's about it for anything computer-related.

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Back in the days

by Michael Jay In reply to Random question: Have you ...

of high current units, I have seen power supplies put out enough smoke to make you think there was a fire, but no fire actually got out of the unit.

More often than pc's I have seen monitors blowing smoke, again no external fire.

So far, I have seen no fires caused by computer equipment.

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