Been thinking about this quite a bit since I got my Smokin-It 2D.
Recent tragedy near me:
Cause of the fire was thought to be from a propane smoker left on overnight.
I've leaned the hard way with the little smoker I have to wear shoes when taking cooked meat out of it (splashed some drippings on my feet), and not to stand over the door when I open it - get a big blast of steam and smoke.
Regarding above, I have no idea whether the smoker was close to the house or not - but guessing it was since the house caught fire.
Even though my little smoker uses less power than my crockpot (800w vs 1000w), I am not sure I would leave it running unattended - a grease fire inside might well leak out and set my deck on fire. Since I have a townhouse I don't have a lot of place to run it and with kids in close proximity I would not feel comfortable running it on the lawn unattended, either.
Anyhow would appreciate other thoughts on safety...