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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Sunlight reflecting off mirror sparks blaze

25/11/2016

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a safety warning after sunlight reflected off a mirror and caused nearby curtains to smoulder.

"It is vital that people ensure that reflective items such as mirrors are not placed in direct view of sunlight. Special care should be taken with convex and concave shaving or make-up mirrors which can magnify the sun’s rays onto combustible items such as curtains or bedding, causing them to ignite."

Lichfield Watch Manager Mick Jones

The incident happened in the bedroom of a property on Stockings Lane in Upper Longdon. There was no sign of fire when a crew from Lichfield attended the scene at 12.52pm but there was a strong smell of burning.

Lichfield Watch Manager Mick Jones said: "The winter sunlight can be extremely bright and if it is reflected off the surface of a mirror it can cause some serious damage. The occupants of this property were very lucky that the consequences were minimal and the incident only burnt a hole in the curtains.

"It is vital that people ensure that reflective items such as mirrors are not placed in direct view of sunlight. Special care should be taken with convex and concave shaving or make-up mirrors which can magnify the sun’s rays onto combustible items such as curtains or bedding, causing them to ignite.

"It is also important to ensure that you have working smoking alarms fitted so that, should an emergency occur, you are alerted to it at the earliest possible opportunity."

The incident has been classed as accidental ignition. The crew fitted five smoke alarms when it carried out a safety check before leaving the scene at 1.32pm.