Bedroom fire caused by sunlight on mirror

Tue 30 Jul, 2013

Sunlight reflecting off a mirror set fire to a bedroom curtain at a house in Bletchley yesterday evening.

Crews from Bletchley and Great Holm were called to the fire, in a semi-detached two-storey home in Severn Way, shortly before 7pm. There was no-one in the house at the time, but the fire was spotted by a neighbour.

Firefighters used a hose reel to put out the fire and a large fan to clear away the smoke.

Nationally, a number of house fires - including some that have destroyed homes - have been caused by the effects of sunlight on make-up and shaving mirrors or decorative “bottle effect” windows.

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service has been called to five of these fires – four in Milton Keynes and one in Chalfont St Peter – over the past three years.

Firefighters highlighted the risk earlier this month using a case study provided by a Hazlemere resident who noticed one of her curtains starting to smoulder.

Neil Boustred, who heads Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s community safety team, said: “We are advising people to take extra care, particularly with mirrors which have a magnified side. Keep them out of contact with direct sunlight, and never put them on window sills."

If you would like a free assessment of the fire risks in your home, and free smoke alarms where necessary, ring the home safety check hotline on 01296 744477, email or visit the Free Home Safety Check.