Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is backing a national campaign warning of the dangers of beauty appliances such as hair straighteners and curling irons.
An estimated 650,000 house fires in the UK have been caused by a straightener or similar device being left on. To highlight the issue, Electrical Safety First is launching a new campaign called Pull the Plug. This campaign is to remind people to switch off their beauty appliances after they’ve been used.
The findings of this research show people taking serious risks with their beauty regimes. One in 12 women admit to having left their hair straighteners switched on at least once and almost half of women have panicked about leaving an electrical beauty device switched on when they’re out and about.
Emma Apter, Head of Communications at Electrical Safety First, said: “Straighteners can reach temperatures of more than 235C and can take up to 40 minutes to cool down. Considering that they reach temperatures hotter than a deep fat-fryer, there’s a very high risk of damage or fire if left near flammable materials.
“Our research shows that one in 12 women have left a beauty appliance switched on at some point or other, which is extremely worrying. Our advice is to pull the plug on your appliances: switch them off when you’ve finished using them and leave them to cool on a mat or heat proof surface.”
Electrical Safety First research has found that people aged between 18 and 24 are particularly at risk. One in three people in this age group has been burnt by an electrical beauty appliance. The research also shows that over 200,000 people in this age group have experienced a house fire caused by an electrical beauty appliance.
Earlier this year, Trevor and Marjorie Yoxall from Staffordshire lost their dog Buster in a house fire after a hairdryer was left plugged in on the dressing table. Their house was also badly damaged and they have had to move into temporary accommodation and estimate it will be months before they can move back in.
Assistant Chief Officer Steve Foye, head of community safety at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The dangers of leaving appliances such as straighteners on are stark. Fire safety might not immediately spring to mind during a beauty routine, but it’s vital that people remember to take care as they get ready to go out.
“We’ve tested the dangers of hair straighteners with Electrical Safety First to show what can happen when they are left on and unattended. We captured this on film and we hope that this illustrates the risks and reminds people of the importance of switching these appliances off.”
For more information visit www.electricalsafetyfirst.org.uk/pulltheplug or search the hashtag #PullThePlug.