Fire damage restoration and water removal services for property damage caused by a hair dryer fire
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian urges homeowners to exercise caution when using a hair dryer.
Water removal is one of the many property damage cleanup and restoration services offered by SERVPRO® of Waxahachie/Midlothian. When a hair dryer or other heat-generating device causes a fire, the scene often involves large amounts of water used to extinguish the flames if the fire department responds to the scene.
Any appliance or device that uses electricity is a potential fire hazard, and if the electrical device or appliance generates heat, the fire risk is elevated. A stove, toaster, air fryer, waffle iron, coffeepot, and hot air popcorn popper are examples of heat-producing appliances that can cause a fire in the kitchen.
Like the kitchen, the bathroom contains several heat-producing devices that can cause a fire or even explode. Many homeowners use small ceramic space heaters or heat lamps to warm their rooms on a cold morning. Unattended space heaters are a common cause of house fires. Curling irons and hair dryers reach very high temperatures and can cause a fire.
The health and beauty experts at Sojourn offer the following advice about using beauty tools that generate very high temperatures: “Most curling irons and flat irons have temperature settings that range from 125 – 425 degrees Fahrenheit. No hair should ever be subjected to heat of 400 degrees or above; unless a licensed professional is doing a special service that requires those temperatures.”
A hairdryer reaches temperatures approaching 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Though not as hot as a curling iron, a handheld hair dryer does get hot enough to catch fire. If conditions are right, the device can explode.
The use of a curling iron or hair dryer should instill a heightened awareness of the danger of electrical shock, superficial burns to the skin, hair damage, fire, and an explosion. Modern hair dryers have an outer plastic casing designed to protect the device from impacts and shield the motor and electronics inside the unit. Under normal operating conditions, the user can also have confidence that heat-producing appliances such as a space heater and heating tools such as a hair dryer can be used safely. The elevated fire risk still demands a higher level of awareness, caution, and safety when using a hair dryer.
The plastic casing can melt and catch fire
The plastic outer casing on a handheld hair dryer is designed to protect the internal components from impacts, water, and debris. The casing also protects the user from moving parts, electrical components, and heating elements inside the device. The plastic covering comes in a variety of attractive colors, shapes, and sizes to accommodate different tastes and needs. The sturdy plastic makes the hair dryer lightweight and easy to use.
The plastic housing can melt if the hair dryer overheats
Continuous use without allowing the tool to cool down, a blockage of the intake vents, or a blockage of the barrel of the device can cause overheating. These extreme temperatures can melt the plastic, and the device could catch fire. Any combustible items or flammable liquids near the haircare tool could also catch fire.
Wiring issues can cause a fire
Another hair dryer fire hazard is related to the wiring inside the tool and the external cord and plug. Damage to the plug or cord poses a fire hazard and the risk of electrical shock and grave personal injury.
Often, curling irons and hair flatteners are used in conjunction with a hair dryer. If the cord or plug of the hair dryer touches either of these two hair styling tools, the insulation can melt, exposing the “hot” wires of the hair dryer. The heating unit for curlers can also damage electrical cords or plugs. Hairstyling requires skill, concentration, and patience. It also requires attention to safety considerations. Yet, the activity is not without risk of fire.
Modern hair dryers have an emergency shutoff button on the cord near the plug. If the hair dryer catches fire, the unit can be safely turned off by pressing the button.
A hairdryer can explode
Human error or manufacturer defects are the primary causes of an explosion. Overheating is often related to the incident. Random explosions have occurred, but they are rare. Human error may involve laying the hair dryer on the counter while the device is still running. The internal motor can overheat very quickly and possibly explode. When the tool is not in use, turn it off. Place the hair dryer on a hard, dry surface away from clothing, towels, facial tissue, and flammable liquids such as alcohol, fingernail polish, and hair spray. Another option is to hang the device where airflow is not restricted and the unit can safely cool.
What to do if a hair dryer causes fire damage
A fire damage disaster often involves a chemical cleanup from a fire extinguisher discharge or a major water damage cleanup if the fire department is dispatched to the scene. SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. IICRC-certified technicians arrive in about an hour to clean and restore the damaged home. The team utilizes heavy-duty wet-dry vacuums, powerful dehumidifiers, and rapid-spin fans to remove the water and excess moisture. Advanced cleaning techniques and EPA-approved products disinfect, sanitize, and deodorize the complex disaster scene.