Pursuit of beauty leads to 'vanity vandalism', Halifax Home Insurance reveals

17 June 2005
They say that beauty comes at a price, and that price is being paid in full by furniture and home interiors, which, according to Halifax Home Insurance, are falling victim to 'vanity vandalism.'

Home beauty treatments using hot wax, heated rollers and hair straighteners have been responsible for £1.9 billion worth of damage over the last few years, as more than 12.6 million British adults damage furniture and domestic surfaces with the products, Halifax found.

Over five million people left a heated hair appliance switched on when they were out, damaging carpets or furniture, whilst more than seven million stained a carpet, soft furnishings or clothing by spilling hot beauty wax, the insurer reveals.

The average claim for an accidental fire caused by such apparatus was in the region of £6,500 in 2004 according to the research, so the price of beauty for your home really can be high.

"So many of us are now using beauty equipment that, not so long ago, was only ever used by the trained professional," said Vicky Emmott, senior underwriting manager at Halifax Insurance Services.

"A lot of these devices can be set to extremely high temperatures, and when left unattended or on flammable surfaces, they can soon become perilous potentially causing serious damage to individuals and their property."

Young adults and older teenagers are the worst culprits, the study discovered - five and a half million cases of vanity vandalism involved 16 - 24 year-olds.

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