Hot Time in the Ol' Shop, A Heater Safety Tip...

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by DeLayne Peck posted 09-23-2012 03:59 PM 1499 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Got the crap scared out of me last night, BIG TIME.

The temperature dipped to 38 degrees in Lincoln, aka the HuskerPlex. To bump the temp up in my detached garage shop, I plugged in my large, forced-air, torpedo heater. It blew a continuous stream of sparks and flaming shreds of debris all over everywhere. After a wild-eyed panic stop, carefully checking for burning embers, and changing my pants, I figured it out. Mice had built a large nest in the heater.

Resulting Safety Tip: Either check your shop heat source carefully before starting it for the first time this Fall. OR, slip on an adult diaper, stand there with a fire extinguisher, and start ‘er up.

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

6 comments so far

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3335 days

#1 posted 09-23-2012 04:17 PM

good tip delayne

and clean all stove and fireplace flues too

while making my first mitered corner spline box
i clipped some soft hidden staples
in the spline jig
using wider dado blades

the sparks fell into the shavings
in the table saw
and the added wind from the blades
fanned them into a fire
which i didn’t notice
till the flames were coming out
of the openings in the saw body

got my extinguisher
to find it depleted over time

opened the access door
and got the sawdust out on the floor
and poured water on it

now i check my extinguisher periodical
just in case

haven’t tried the depends yet
sounds like a great idea

be safe

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3328 days

#2 posted 09-23-2012 04:19 PM

Sounds like a very scary experience. Thanks for posting your experience as it is a good reminder. I’m glad it didn’t get out of hand. I have a well insulated shop and no need for extreme heating devices. I use an oil filled radiator set at a fairly low thermostat controlled temperature. I do give it blast of compressed air often enough to keep it relatively free of dust. In spite of that I am always worried about fire so I have an extinguisher in the shop and I try to be extra careful when working with anything hot like my heat gun, soldering, wood burning, propane torch, glue gun etc. I am a little forgetful at times so I try to make it a habit to check around the shop before leaving it for the day.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2684 days

#3 posted 09-24-2012 01:35 AM

I am ROFLMAO! But I’m glad it wasn’t serious. Must be the season as I started a fire with my router today routing some 1/8” dados with a really crappy router bit. It finally broke so now I can get a decent spiral bit. I’m off to check my dust collector as it sucked up all the burning sawdust.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View helluvawreck's profile


31019 posts in 2860 days

#4 posted 09-24-2012 08:08 PM

Fire can be a friendly servant but often becomes a fearsome master. Keep your fire extinguishers handy.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3099 days

#5 posted 09-25-2012 01:40 AM

I had a mouse nest in the filters of a forced air electric heater. Right over the elements. That stunk up the house for a while and I took out the whole heating system. Hope you got cleaned up- shop and your shorts- and the rest of the day went well!

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2798 days

#6 posted 09-30-2012 01:35 PM

Very good tips, and, sorry bout yer pants… lol I can only imagine how I woulda freeked out. I had a similar experience when routing an enclosed channel in a block of wood. While routing, the block began to smoke, so, quickly, and carefully, I lifted the block of wood up and off the spinning bit, and, of coarse, the dust collector is still running…..............well, the second I lifted, I seen many glowing embers get sucked up into the dust collector…........freekin out, 1st hit the off switch of the router, then run over to the dc, (I don’t have one o them fancy remotes for my dc), hit the off button, rip apart the the dc bag to be sure nothing was igniting, and thankfully, it wasn’t. WHEW! Heart got a workout that minute er two. So, yes, I know how ya felt.. : Krazy things can happen quickly. We’ve all got to be on our toes.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics