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Mirror + direct sunlight = house fires, warns fire service

Dorset firefighters say they tackled a bedroom fire on Monday believed to have been sparked by mirror-reflected sunlight.

Fire and smoke damage from a blaze believed to have been caused by a mirror and reflected sunlight.
Fire and smoke damage from a blaze believed to have been caused by a mirror and reflected sunlight.
Image: Dorset Fire and Rescue Service

WHEN YOU THINK OF household items which pose a fire risk in your home, mirrors might not come immediately to mind, but British firefighters have issued a warning over the danger of mirrors starting fires by reflecting bright, direct sunlight onto nearby objects.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Services station manager says that two crews equipped with breathing apparatus tackled a serious fire at lunchtime on Monday which they believed was caused “by sunlight reflected off a mirror on the window sill”.

The fire started in a first-floor bedroom, where a chair and a pair of curtains caught fire. It was contained in the bedroom by the fire services, though the room sustained serious smoke damage.

The fire service says that the incident should act as a warning to all homeowners about the risk of mirrors reflecting direct sunlight sparking house fires. “Although fires started in this way are unusual, they can occur,” says Arundel.

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