Winter sun and makeup mirrors don’t mix, warns fire service

Make up mirrors combined with the low winter sun can cause fires.

Make up mirrors combined with the low winter sun can cause fires. - Credit: Archant

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service are warning people to keep makeup mirrors away from windows with sun low in the sky.

Low winter sun and makeup mirrors do not mix - that is the message from Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service.

Fire fighters are warning the low winter sun’s rays focussing through or onto glass through a window can cause a fire.

Any mirrored or glass items close to the window may re-focus the sun’s rays onto combustible items, often curtains heating them up to a point where they spontaneously ignite into flames.

Paul Bray, community safety protection manager for the fire service, said: “Many people do not realise the dangers of leaving glass objects too close to windows.


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“Anything that can concentrate the sun’s ray should be moved away from the window to reduce the risk of fire breaking out, especially where the sun can shine directly into the room.

“I have personally attended two fires caused by make-up mirrors, positioned on dressers, in bedrooms.

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“One of these fires occurred in the early morning, with the sun shining through a south-easterly facing window, and the other occurred in the early evening, with the sun shining through a south westerly facing window.

“Both days were bright and sunny, but not hot.”

With cold temperatues and clear skies this week, Paul warns if any of your rooms are penetrated by bright sunlight, make sure glass objects cannot create a fire.

He added: “Now would also be a good time to discuss your fire escape plans with the rest of your family, fit or check your smoke alarm is working, and put into practice a simple routine of shutting internal doors, not only as part of a bedtime routine - but also whenever you leave your home unattended, as even a light internal door will prevent or reduce smoke and heat damage to a rooms contents.”

You can request advice about home safety by calling freephone 0800 05 02 999.

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