This reminds me of an incident that occured in my school lab: The lab assistant had set up an electrically heated water bath in a corner of the lab (Which was the only place where an electrical socket was available). Since this was a large lab, meant to accomodate 40+ students, it was a long walk to the bath. You had to place your test tube in the bath after marking it, wait for a few minutes and then pick it up again.
A few guys who were located in a corner of the lab didn't feel like walking the distance and waiting, so they turned on the bunsen burner and used it to heat the organic chemicals (Acetone and Formaldehyde) that they had to identify the functional groups for. While heating, the chemical started to boil so vigorously that a small amount 'cannoned' out of the mouth of the test tube and got stuck onto the ceiling. Needless to say, the students spent their afternoon in the headmaster's office.
TL;DR: While working with volatile chemicals, always use a water bath. It ensures slow, safe and even heating and as a bonus, the temperature does not rise above 100° C in the worst case. Most electrical water baths are temperature-controlled as well, meaning a thermostat senses the temperature and shuts off the heater coil if the temperature rises above a certain limit.