Here come the girls! And back they go to unplug their hair straighteners…

Office managers urged to be vigilant for hair straighteners and curling tongs left switched on in the excitement of the Christmas party

Today has been designated the most popular day for office Christmas parties and so millions of staff – mostly women it has to be said – will arrive at work armed with a change of clothes, make up bag and the new scourge of the fire service – hair straighteners.  Worryingly for businesses, a recent survey commissioned by energy safety device manufacturer, Energenie, has found that a fifth of women admit to having left their hair straighteners or curling tongs on in the past when they have left the house.  Adding in the excitement factor of a Christmas party and the likelihood that many workplaces will start the festivities early with drinks in the office, the possibility of such devices being left switched on in the office increases exponentially.   


The research also found that two thirds of people (67%) have experienced a worrying moment of thinking they’ve left something switched on when they leave their house, yet it is surprising to note that almost one in five simply didn’t bother returning home to check, hoping they were wrong.  Given that 17% have returned home to find the appliance was indeed left on, this is a potentially frightening statistic.


Energenie is urging offices to either email reminders to all staff asking them to ensure heated appliances are switched off and unplugged or to enlist the company fire marshal – which all UK businesses are required to have by law1 – to conduct a sweep of the building.

Hair straighteners reach temperatures of up to 210°C and take as long as 40 minutes to cool down.

Alan J. Tadd, managing director, Energenie said:

“It is human nature that we are all typically more concerned about preserving our home environment than our working one.  The carelessness unearthed in this survey is likely, therefore, to be magnified in offices.”  


London Fire Brigade’s Deputy Head of Community Safety Catherine Levin said:

“Leaving appliances switched on is something that people do all the time which not only poses a significant safety risk but wastes energy too.”*

 The research by Energenie was conducted by Redshift amongst 1,000 UK households in October 2010.

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