Maybe I just never noticed this before, but recently I've noticed that even when I use my iron for a very short time, the cord and plug get very hot. This is a bit disconcerting.
Is this a bad sign?
It's not a good thing. The cord is overheating due to damage or a bad connection at the receptacle. Hardware stores typically sell high temperature replacement cords for irons and similar devices. If you are using the same receptacle for your ironing, you may want to replace that as well.
Heat at a single spot along the cord means it may have a problem, but if the entire cord is uniformly hot it is probably fine.
A 'high temperature cord' is just that, designed to operate at a higher temperature safely.
By using more expensive insulation materials the temperature rating of the cord is extended, allowing the use of smaller conductors to preserve flexibility also.
It would be good to know if it has always been like this and you hadn't noticed before (some products run "hot" normally), or if this is something new and of potential concern.
Its just about 2" at the end of the cord, and the plug that got so hot. I tried it in another outlet, and it just got the slightest bit warm. So does that mean there's some problem with the socket??
I'll try more outlets tomorrow.
Replace the receptacle. The inner workings are loosening up and not holding the blades of the plug tight enough.
Good call, we always replace the outlets when the plug starts hanging down from the outlet.
Are we at risk for a fire, if we don't change it right away, but we don't use the outlet?
Since it's most likely just not making a good connection with the blades of the plug, the only time it's an issue is if you are powering something out of that receptacle. You should be fine if you don't use it. Just don't put off fixing it. Replacing a receptacle should be no more than a 5 minute job, even if you aren't very handy. Just make sure you have the power off when you do it, of course. If you aren't sure which breaker controls it, plug in a lamp and flip breakers one at a time until the light goes off.
use ba SPEC GRADE or HOSPITAL GRADE receptacle. you wont have to replace it every two weeks when the plug starts falling out