Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are reminding residents not to leave mirrors near windows after a fire at a home in Barton-under-Needwood.
Always keep reflective items such as mirrors away from direct 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.
The warning comes after the occupants of a house in Brookside Road were alerted to a fire when their smoke alarms sounded. They evacuated and raised the alarm at 9.15am today, Tuesday July 3.
Firefighters from Burton, Lichfield and Rugeley attended and found the fire in a first floor bedroom. They wore six breathing apparatus and used two hose reel jets to extinguish the blaze. On inspection of the room they found that the fire was caused by sunlight which had shone on a mirror and ignited nearby materials.
Station Manager John Kitchener said: “Thankfully due to there being working smoke alarms in this home the occupants were alerted to the fire quickly. Despite this it developed quickly and spread to exposed timber beams and the roof space, causing significant damage.
“Many people don’t realise that sunlight can be extremely powerful and if reflected off the surface of a mirror it can produce enough heat to ignite flammable materials.
“Always keep reflective items such as mirrors away from direct 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.
“While dealing with the incident it was fantastic to see community spirit surface with local residents rallying together to provide us with refreshments, our crews were really touched by this kind gesture.”
For more information on home safety visit our dedicated webpage or call the Service’s Community Advice Team on 0800 0241 999.