Testing the Scentsy Warmer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Testing the Scentsy Warmer

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- We're investigating the safety of a popular scented product following a fatal fire in Waterloo. Sandi Rasmussen died in her home on February 25th, after getting her son to safety.

Firefighters have confirmed that a Scentsy wax warmer was in the area where the fire started. However, they don't know if it had anything to do with starting the blaze.

Owners of the Scentsy company decided to its own investigation with Waterloo fire officials, saying "a Scentsy warmer was near the origin of the fire, but careful examination of the Scentsy warmer revealed no defects or malfunction in the warmer itself. Scentsy warmers are as safe as any table lamp or other household appliance when used properly and according to instructions."

But the company warns, "Scentsy warmers should never be placed among or near combustible or flammable materials..."

With this in mind, we decided to test the Scentsy warmer ourselves.

Armed with a heat sensor, a few combustible objects, and just to be safe, a fire extinguisher, we plugged a Scentsy warmer in to see how hot the products get.

In the "control" part of the experiment, the wax reaches 130 degrees, the light bulb around 325.

We let it go another 15 minutes, and meanwhile, while not recommended by the manufacturer, we crumple up some newspaper around it, and see how warm the warmer gets sitting right next to the bright light.

This time, the wax reached 150 degrees, the light bulb stays about 320.

The newspaper closest to the burner only reached about 93 degrees, certainly not hot enough to start a fire.

Our final test, one that is NOT recommended by firefighters or by Scentsy product makers, we drape a cloth on top of the product, and see what happens if we let it sit. We watch carefully, and check the heat every few minutes to avoid a hot surprise.

After a little more than fifteen minutes with the cloth on top of the Scentsy, the temperature is only about 96, 97 degrees. And truthfully, it's just a little bit warm to the touch.

Again, the wax on the inside, it's pretty hot, about 200 degrees. This top is actually quite warm. The light bulb is sitting at about 320. That stayed pretty consistent throughout the entire 45 minutes this was on. Obviously, no where near the 1800 degrees you'll see in most candles, you can understand why firefighters say, this is a lot safer than your standard household candle.

Scentsy makers warn you against using this product near flammable items. You should also allow the base to cool before touching it, it can become very hot to the touch.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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