Fibronaut At Home

Public Service Announcement

on August 29, 2013



A couple days ago, I smelled smoke.  I thought it was my laptop, because that was where the smoke seemed to be coming from.  After unplugging my laptop and setting it outside, the smoke smell became worse.  Thankfully, I rechecked and discovered what you see above.  I had been using my heating pads constantly and rotating them over my body.  This is one of the only things that soothes my pain.  My lower back was bothering me that morning and so the heating pad ended up shoved partially into the couch cushion.  My couch must have fire retardant on it, because it did not have any black marks.  Now, I only have one heating pad and I’m afraid to use it.  If you use a heating pad, follow the directions printed on the cloth cover.  Make sure you are not bending the cord and turn the heating pad off or unplug when not in use.  This one had an automatic shut-off of 2 hours and nothing on it felt hot when I left it plugged in.  However, my other heating pad, even though it had an automatic shut-off of 1 hour, had a red light that would stay lit to let you know it was off.  I noticed that the control box was often hot when I left it plugged in, even though the actual pad wasn’t on.  It is scary to think what could have happened, had I not been home when this occurred.  I always left my heating pads plugged in, because, if I was sitting down, I was using them.

3 responses to “Public Service Announcement

  1. I’m glad everything worked out okay! Heating pads shouldn’t be used for more than 20 minutes or so. The electrical current in them can actually mess with your body and make it harder for it to heal. I learned this the hard way, but feel much better now minimizing my use of heating pads. I used to use them all the time and rotate to different body parts as you say. Now I use rice heating pads that you heat up in the microwave. I have a big one that has lavender and other herbs in it too than wraps my neck and shoulders or I can put it down my back. I also found one that has Velcro to hold it in place on my neck. Here are the two I use:

    • csgomez79 says:

      I’ll have to try that. Maybe I can find time and make my own. I’ve seen a couple tutorials. I had no idea about the electrical current thing either. Thanks for the info!

      • Me either. A physical therapist told me. Cell phones and other technologies do it too. I know if I use my cell phone or Kindle for too long to play games or a read a book my hands start to ache. If I ignore that the ache spreads upwards to my shoulders then down my back, upping the pain I usually have there anyway. A massage therapist told me once that wrapping a towel you’ve soaked in hot water around whatever body part is hurting is really good for you. Moist heat is the best heat for body aches like we have. I think she suggested wrapping the wet towel in plastic wrap or something like that so water doesn’t go everywhere. I’ve never tried it as I prefer hot baths but that might be an inexpensive trick you could try.

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