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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Sunlight reflecting off mirror sparks blaze

21/03/2017

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

“Sunlight can be extremely powerful and if it is reflected off the surface of a mirror it can produce enough heat to ignite flammable materials. The occupants of this property were very lucky that the consequences were minimal and the incident only burnt the blind."

Station Manager Paul Richins

The incident happened in the bedroom of a property on Beacon Road in Rolleston-on-Dove and crews from Burton attended the scene at 7.45am today, Tuesday 21 March.

Station Manager Paul Richins said: “Sunlight can be extremely powerful and if it is reflected off the surface of a mirror it can produce enough heat to ignite flammable materials. The occupants of this property were very lucky that the consequences were minimal and the incident only burnt the blind.

“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 blinds, 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 used two breathing apparatus and a dry powder extinguisher at the incident.