Hair straightener induced fire has become a menacing threat for the ones who prefer to stylize their hair at home. Cases like this one covered by the Dailymail states that a woman was almost killed during such a fire and was rescued by the firefighters after mountainous efforts.
This proves the severity of the matter, and it has become significantly important that you pick a quality hair straightener even if you don’t want to spend much. When such is the context, we receive this question many times: can a hair straightener start a fire?
While the short answer is, YES! It can, you have to assess the entire situation and the type of your straightener properly to fully comprehend the possibilities. Our article is here for you to teach you everything on the matter.
It starts from the potential ways it could start a fire to the things you can apply to avoid such a risk completely and have a sound mind whenever you step out of your house!
I Left My Straightener On: Will It Start A Fire?
As you know, your hair straightener must reach a high temperature, almost upto 235°C (or 455°F) to be able to play with your hair properly. The number might seem innocent, it’s actually anything but, because this degree of temperature can start a fire if it’s exposed to certain materials for a prolonged duration!
There are a few factors to be considered before jumping to conclusion whether your straightener that’s been left on at home should start a fire or not. Firstly, if your hair straightener is a product of one of the premium brands that you can find in the market, the chances are they have an automatic shutdown timer that’ll go off after a certain amount of idle time.
In other cases, it matters where you’ve placed your hair straightener. If you’ve placed it on your kitchen counter made of stone or aluminum, the material will absorb the heat and won’t convert into a fire hazard.
However, leaving your straightener turned on beside materials like cotton, fiber or light wooden plank will have a higher chance of catching fire if there’s no automatic shutdown feature embedded in your device.
Another factor to be considered assuming your device won’t turn off automatically is the duration of time. Leaving your straightener on won’t directly let everything catch flame, it’s going to take some time before that happens. If you rush back to your house or call someone to turn it off the moment you remember it can help you avoid a major accident.
So in short, the type of straightener, where you’ve left it and how long it’s been turned on matters regarding whether it can start a fire. Also, it equally matters how long you take to react after realizing what you’ve done, so act quickly and smartly when such an instance occurs!
How Many Instances Of Hair Straightener Fire Are There?
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue has called out on the fire hazards caused by hair straighteners which should help you understand how serious of a matter this is. Their awareness aims at lessening such incidents for safety in households and to prevent fire hazards nationwide.
An organization in the UK, Electrical Safety First, is expert on such matters who collect data about accidental fire incidents based on electronic malfunction. They’ve claimed that there have been 650,0001 reported cases in the UK that started a fire by leaving a hair straightener or similar beauty product on at home.
Their research also suggests that there is an alarming rate of individuals who have left such devices on before leaving the home – which is 1 in every 12 women. It increases the probability of starting such a fire that can be life-threatening to say the least!
Avoid Straightener Fire: Things To Do
There are a number of safety measures you can endorse to avoid such hazardous incidents and keep yourself as well as your family safe from accidents!
Pull The Plug
Pull the plug is a movement started by the Electrical Safety First organization which promotes the practice of pulling your appliances’ plug right before heading out of your house. This guarantees that your hair straightener isn’t left on when you’re not at home. However, you have to take additional precaution when you use cordless flat irons despite their auto shutdown feature.
Check The Wirings
Your flat iron pulls the power from your power outlets, and it’s been evident that the loose wiring on your walls is often the cause of fire while supplying prolonged power to your flat iron. So get your wires checked by expert electricians yearly to mitigate such risks!
Purchase Quality Hair Straighteners
Knowing which hair straighteners are safe can be of major help. Buying the ones with the most advanced safety features can help you reduce such risks of accidental fires, but you must still be cautious enough to switch it off or unplug when the procedure is over!
Stopping A Hair Straightener Fire
When you find yourself in a situation where your hair straightener has started a fire, you must keep your head cool and follow the R.A.C.E. procedures to minimize the damage and threat to any life!
You have to rescue anyone who’s stuck inside the burning house. It could be a person or an animal.
Alert the emergency services if you feel the fire is out of your control. Call 911 or other emergency contacts in your local area.
If you feel the fire is spreading fast and has turned into a big hazard, close all the doors and windows from the outside to confine it within the premises. In case of a small fire, confine the hair straightener or the source of fire using a bowl or wet blanket so that it doesn’t receive enough oxygen to keep on burning.
For smaller fire hazards, use your fire extinguisher or a large amount of water to compromise the fire. Larger fires can’t be dealt with alone and it’s wise to evacuate the scene to allow the professionals to take care of it. Stay low while moving out of the house so that the smoke doesn’t affect you more.
This method is approved by Boston University’s Environmental Health & Safety Department, so you can follow it without giving a second thought.
Our article that’s anchored on answering the question to ‘can a hair straightener start a fire?’ has offered information regarding every issue you may encounter. It could be a fire hazard as leaving your hair straightener on does have the possibility to start a fire
We have identified the reasons behind such occurrences and offered guidance on how you can mitigate those. We’ve also explored ideas that can prevent such accidents in the first place. And in case of emergency, you can follow the R.A.C.E. strategy to preserve as best as you can.
Lastly, we recommend that you buy good straighteners, unplug before leaving and have a proper understanding of different temperature settings of such appliances. It can aid you in the long run – one way or another!