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Appliances

This One Home Appliance Can Cause A Fire

Hint: Did you straighten your hair this morning?

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Photography: Kurt Alvarez (Main Photo-dresser)

One morning in 2009, homeowner (and March 2017 Makeover Winner) Princess Romero was rushing to work, according to this article by Sunshine Funa. Unfortunately, she accidentally forgot to do one important thing: unplug her hair iron.

Her older sister, who was staying in an adjacent room, soon saw smoke coming out from underneath the door of Princess’s room. The family panicked, and the father tried to put out the flames, which nearly consumed the entire room, but he suffered burns to his arms.

Aside from the father, no other members of the family sustained any injuries, and Princess had the happy ending of winning a makeover of her room. But how many other fires could happen because of this innocent hair-styling appliance?


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Apparently, any hair straightener or heat-generating styling tool can pose a fire risk in your home, according to this article on ismyhomesafe.ca. A hair straightening iron or curling iron is especially tricky, because unlike hair dryers, these do not make a sound when turned on.

The appliance per se is safe to use, but if you leave the appliance turned on and heating up on top of a combustible material like a wooden tabletop or a bed, then that could potentially cause a fire. So what can you do to avoid this dangerous accident?

  • First, don’t store the appliance until it’s completely cooled down, office-lateness-be-damned.
  • Second, unplug the appliance right after using it. 
  • Also, wrap the cord around the appliance once it’s cooled, as the cord itself can pose a strangling or tripping danger to children.
  • Third, get inspiration from this hack and take a photo of your unplugged hair straightener before you leave the house—it sounds silly, but you can always check your phone to see if you’ve actually unplugged the thing. (While you’re at it, you might want to take a photo of your stove, too!)
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