Got a little story to tell; mostly as an "FYI", but this may
have been the cause of the fire...
I recently experienced a "Who'da thunk it?" (read: Who Would Have Known"), involving the failure of a typical 100 Volt Low Wattage Neon Indicator Lamp, with a resulting fire.
We have an O-Scale Caboose, which has a Digital LED Clock in it, along with several of the previously mentioned Neon Indicator Lamps - mounted inside the Caboose near windows.
One night a Lamp failed - and thank God My Wife and I were in the Computer Room when this occurred!!!
It failed by first creating a very subtle "60 Hz Hum" for about 10 seconds, followed by a "Snap". Right after the snap, a small flame popped up, which increased rapidly (burning the Plastic Housing of the Caboose).
It took me about 15 seconds to get to the Caboose after the flame began, and even by that time, the Caboose was well on it's way to total destruction.
If we had not been in the Computer Room at that time, things may have been tragic.
Not exactly sure what led to the fire. The Lamp had an internal Resistor which may have failed, causing either an Arc Fault across the Resistor (making the Resistor responsible for the fire), or the Resistor Arc Faulted, then melted to create a much lower Resistance, leading to a rapid increase in Current across the Lamp.
Tried to perform "Forensic Analysis" on the Lamp, but it disintegrated at the first touch.
Maybe the victims of the Fire had used a Plug Strip, which contained a Neon Indicator Lamp in the Toggle Switch; and this Lamp failed - resulting in fire...???
The Caboose-Clock incident sure impacted my Wife and Me, whereas previously we never thought they contained such disasterous potential!
Gave me a HUGE HEADS-UP!!! Pass it on!!!
BTW, the Video Adapter failure which took place a few years ago, may be one culprite (I posted images + story about this in one of the "Lower" Forums - either the Computers area, or the Electrical Theory area).
May also have been from a SMPS with "A Very High Sucks Value", so say it lightly.
Really cannot believe an overloaded Branch Circuit would do this - or any Branch Circuit; unless:
- Arc Fault broke out on the Branch Circuit,
- The Panelboard was FPE or Zinsco, with a heavilly loaded 15 Amp Branch Circuit,
- House had Edison Based Fuses - which someone used the "High Capacity Coin" remedy, to correct a frequently failing Fuse "Problem",
- Someone decided to perform some "DIY" wiring for the Computer Receptacles, using inadequate wiring methods - such as 18-2 speaker wire, connected to heavy loads,
- Extremely worn out Receptacle(s) and/or loose terminations across "Series Wiring" where the circuitry is made up via the terminal screws of the Receptacle - and heavy loads are connected on load side of these terminations.