Looking hot! No, no you’re literally looking...

Looking hot! No, no you’re literally looking hot

This is a repost of a very, very early blog article we had here at six out of ten, back from the early days. However, after seeing some horrific burns on my placement over the last few months, I felt like it bears repeating.
We’ve all done it, and I’m probably more guilty than most. You know the routine; have a shower, towel dry my tresses, set up the GHDs, pop in the other room to get an outfit sorted, realise my hair looks all right as it is, grab a slice of toast, feed the cat and rush off to work without stopping to wonder if I’ve left the straighteners on. In fact, I usually only figure out my mistake while I’m having lunch and wondering if the house is still standing. How awful is that? Cue panicked phone calls to friends who might be off sick and can pop round to check.

The sad fact is, beauty blazes happen far more often than we think. The London Fire Brigade alone says beauty blazes happen at least once a fortnight. The main causes are hairdryers, straighteners, tongs, vanity mirrors, and bathroom candles. Scary.

Tom George, Acting Deputy Head of Community Safety at London Fire Brigade says vanity can come at an awful cost. Not only could it cause damage to your building, but an out of control fire can easily cause loss of life.

“Many straighteners available today can reach temperatures of over 200 degrees celsius,” he says.  “This is hotter than the oil in a deep fat fryer, so it’s vital people take care. Candles are popular in the bathroom, but if they’re not placed on a heat-proof surface, they can melt through your bath or toilet. This is especially important with tea lights, which get very hot at the bottom.”

The most prolific cause of beauty blazes is candles used in the bathroom, which cause around two fires a week in London. Hairdryers, curling tongs, and hair straighteners have caused 17 fires in the last five years. But it’s not just the girls who are to blame. Shaving mirrors – which are angled to magnify people’s faces – were responsible for 33 fires. When in direct sunlight, the mirrors can magnify the sun’s rays, which can concentrate heat and ignite fabric (such as curtains and carpets) nearby.

So here are the Brigade’s top three tips for avoiding a blaze:

  • Hairdryers, hair tongs, and straighteners can get extremely hot, so it’s very important to remember to switch them off and leave them to cool on a heat proof surface, such as a cork mat.
  • Shaving or make up mirrors should be kept away from direct sunlight, along with any canisters, such as deodorant or hairspray.
  • Candles need to be placed on a surface that can’t melt or catch fire, such as a ceramic plate. Always blow them out when you leave the room, and never leave them burning without supervision.

So from now on, I’m going to be extra diligent about the way I use my beauty products. After all, having straight hair is great, but it’s not worth losing a life over.

For more tips on fire safety, head here.