For all our talk about fire safety in the past, mistakes happen. Fires can have strange causes, so sometimes we get weird jobs.  Okay, perhaps to call it a strange case is a bit much, as there’s nothing all that unusual about it. Mostly, it’s the name of the cause that stands out.  It started because of a fart fan. Yes, a fart fan.

The Strange Case of the Fluke Fart Fan Fire

fart fan

More correctly, these are special ventilation fans designed to help circulate air. They both suck air in form a room to blow it outside, and take air from outside and pump it back in. This keeps the air flow constant and gives you a regular influx of fresh air. They’re most useful in bathrooms, but are also a pretty good idea for any enclosed room that’s liable to get a lot of stale or polluted air. Like any machine, however, it has its risks.

What Happened?

An older gentleman was working in a home workshop. For privacy’s sake, I won’t give any details about him, but he had a fart fan in his workshop. A workshop is a great place for these fans, as the air fills up with a lot of sawdust. Every time this man would do some work, he’d turn on the fan so he would have fresh air to breath. This time, though, when he owner finished up his work, he forgot to turn off the fan. As he was watching TV, he got an alarmed call from a neighbor saying that his workshop was smoking.


Like any machine, ventilation fans have moving parts and moving parts create friction. Friction causes heat. To help reduce friction, we apply machine oil to the parts. With ventilation fans, the constant movement of air can cause the oil to dry out if left on for too long. When the oil dries out, the friction starts to build and eventually the fan overheats. So, when our friend forgot to turn off his fan, it caught fire.

How Can We Prevent This?

dusty vent

If the vent looks like this, it needed cleaning months ago

The risk of overheating fart fans is relatively low if you do a few simple things. First, remember to turn it off when you’re not in the room. This will help keep the fan from overheating. Secondly, remember to oil up the fan every now and then so the oil doesn’t dry out. Thirdly, remember that these fans will suck up a lot of dust, which can also clog up the oil and create excess friction. At least once a year, you will need to open the vent up and clean the dust off the fans. With these simple steps, you can easily avoid fires.

A Lucky Break

Fortunately, the neighbor caught the fire early. The fan produced a lot of smoke as it burned, but was far enough away from any flammable materials that they were able to save the workshop from taking any serious fire damage. The fan, however, had farted its last.

While they prevented serious fire damage to the workshop, the smoke damage was considerable. That’s when they called us. Luckily for him, we at Alpine Cleaning and Restoration know all about cleaning up smoke damage. After a quick discussion with his insurance company and a little bit of elbow grease, we were able to get his workshop up and running again.

Fire safety is important. Our friend was lucky enough to catch it early, before a full fire started. Remember, when firemen get called in, they try to get the fire out as quickly as possible. If they need to smash down a door, wall, or roof to get at the flames, they will. If a fire gets a chance to spread, you might end up with your home taking a lot of damage just in the act of trying to put it out. That’s why you should take every precaution possible to prevent fires from starting in the first place.

But for those times when mistakes do happen, you can rely on us.

We Are Experts

Alpine 100% No Smoke Smell Guarantee SealOur part in this really is pretty standard. Most house fires are small, easily extinguished, and don’t do a whole lot of fire damage. You might damage a carpet, some wallpaper, maybe some kitchen appliances, but if you’re there when it starts, you can get it under control quickly. That said, while they don’t do a lot of burning damage, the smoke they put out can leave terrible, smelly residue on everything.

We’re the experts on cleaning up fire and smoke damage. We have the tools, the best techniques, and the most well-trained experts to get the job done. Working with your insurance company, we can get you the best coverage for the work that needs doing, saving you time and hassle. Our work comes with a no smoke-smell guarantee; we promise that you won’t smell even a trace of smoke when we’re done.

Worried about the cost? Worry not! We work closely with insurance companies to help you get the most out of your restoration. For many companies, when insurance companies say they refuse to cover something, they’ll only do repairs for what’s covered. Not so for Alpine Cleaning and Restoration. We’ll put pressure on those insurance companies to cover everything we can. We won’t leave a job half-finished just because the insurance companies say no the first time. When you call us in to fix up your house, you know it’ll get done!

If you’ve had any trouble recently with a fire, whatever the cause, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’ll fix it up right away!