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Curling Iron Fires


According to the U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission, 700 fires in 1998 were caused by Curling Irons and Hair Dryers.

Curling irons are often the last item to be used before leaving a home. The maximum temperature of most curling irons is between 300° F and 450° F. However, curling irons that are designed for all types of hair and those designed for ethic races that have thick and curly hair can be considerably hotter. The measured temperature of a Belson & Gold 'N Hot curling iron reached approximately 600° F. Testing is often necessary to determine if a curling iron could have been the ignition source of a fire.

Note, the Belson & Gold 'N Hot curling iron had a City of Los Angeles Electrical Testing Laboratory sticker on it. This sticker is used by the City of Los Angeles for electrical equipment that has been tested by them but has not been tested by one of the 29 testing laboratories that the City of Los Angeles recognizes. Recognized laboratories includes Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and others. For additional information on this curling iron, see Case #: F05-010 below.

The UL Standard for Curling Irons is UL 859: "Household Electric Personal Grooming Appliances".


Case #: F05-010 - Jackson, MS

The African-American lady, at this residence, did sewing and alteration work on the side. On the morning of this fire, she was hemming some clothes to take to work with her. She was running behind schedule. The Belson & Gold 'N Hot curling iron was found on the left front corner of her sewing table. It was left "ON" with the temperature set to maximum. Clothes and/or paper patterns were found below and above the curling iron. This is a worst case scenario. Clothes or other materials on top of a curling iron will trap the heat and prevent it from dissipating into the cool ambient air.

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V Pattern on the Wall Adjacent to the Sewing Table

"V" Pattern on the Wall Adjacent to the Sewing Table (F05-10).

Belson Curling Iron at Front Left Corner on Sewing Table

Belson Curling Iron at Front Left Corner on Sewing Table.
Clothes or Pattern Paper on Top and Below Curling Iron (F05-10).

Burnt Pattern Papper in the Shape of the Heating Element

Burnt Cloth in the Shape of the Heating Element (F05-10).

Curling Iron Control Unit set on 10, Maximum Heat

Curling Iron Control Unit set on 10, Maximum Heat.
Current = 0.25 Amps - Calculated Power = 30 watts (F05-10).

Belson Shop Towel Test

Belson - Shop Towel Test (F05-10).

>Belson - Maximun Temperature, 589 deg F

Belson - Maximun Temperature, 589° F (F05-10).


Case #: F06-04 - Learned, MS

The origin of this fire was at the bathroom vanity, where the last thing the home owner did was use a hair dryer to dry her hair and then syle it with a curling iron. The hair dryer plug blades were found in the vantity receptacle. The curling iron plug blades were still attached to the curling iron cord, and they were not found in the receptacle. Testing of this curling iron showed that maxium temperature of the barel was only 343° F, and it is doubtfull that this could have ignited any nearby combustables.

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Vidal Sassoon Model VS121

Vidal Sassoon Model VS121 (F06-04).

Vidal Sassoon - Model VS121 - 16 Watts

Vidal Sassoon -Model VS121 - 16 Watts (F06-04).

Vidal Sassoon - Resitance Measurement of Heating Element

Vidal Sassoon - Resitance Measurement of Heating Element (F06-04).

Vidal Sassoon - Heating Element

Vidal Sassoon - Heating Element (F06-04).

Electrical Schematic of Vidal Sassoon Curling Iron

Electrical Schematic of Vidal Sassoon Curling Iron (F06-04).

Maxium Temperature of Vidal Sassoon Curling Iron

Maxium Temperature of Vidal Sassoon Curling Iron (F06-04).

Vidal Sassoon - Kleenex Test

Vidal Sassoon - Kleenex Test (F06-04).

Vidal Sassoon - Unable to Burn Kleenex

Vidal Sassoon - Unable to Burn Kleenex (F06-04).

Vidal Sassoon - T-Shirt Test

Vidal Sassoon - T-Shirt Test (F06-04).

Turned T-Shirt Brown

Vidal Sassoon - Turned T-Shirt Brown (F06-04).


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Maximum Temperature of ConAir Yellow Bird

Maximum Temperature of My Wife's ConAir Yellow Bird (F06-04).


 

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