At the risk of generating ire for re-re-emphasizing the point, here goes (It is what I do, and I'm at my work computer!):
By all means, shut of the power when you're not using the room. The majority of residential fire investigations I've been involved in were electrical in origin. So, Remove the energy source, and you greatly reduce the risk of fire.
If you can't rewire or reconfigure to have a master switch or switches for everything that's powered (DCC, accessory power, tools, soldering gear), then use a heavy duty multiplug (or more) that also has a light connected, such as a small desk lamp or night light. That way you can tell it's on when you turn off the room lights.
Also, a residential smoke alarm in the train room is good protection for you and the family.
Oxnard Fire Dept Fire Prevention Engineering
--- In WiringForDCC@yahoogroups.com, Blair & Rasa <smithbr@...> wrote:
> clambering up on soapbox/
> No internet hoax, entirely plausible. So two steps might have prevented
> Firstly, some (all?) DCC systems allow you to turn off track power
> without shutting off the power to the system. He may not have
> appreciated the difference, but it quite likely would have prevented this.
> Secondly, it is only common sense to turn the whole system off when not
> in use. Do you leave your range elements on all the time? It's tedious
> to run around to all the boosters, power supplies, etc. to shut them
> off, though. For some systems, turning it all back on needs to be
> sequenced, complicating the issue as well.
> When I (re) built my layout room, I fed all plug circuits from a set of
> switches at the entry. All switches must be off whenever the layout
> room is not in use. I've never had a problem with the DCC system on
> start up (though this reminds me, I'm due for a battery change in my
> control and booster units!). Not only do I remove risk from the DCC
> system, I remove risk from just about everything in the room - soldering
> irons being the other major fire hazard. The only things left powered
> are the dehumidifier, emergency light, and the sump pump.
> Remember, you and your family generally sleep right above your layout.
> For peace of mind, it's the only way to go.
> Maybe WiringForDCC should have a page on layout safety and pre-build
> design considerations?
> Blair Smith