Fire in bedroom caused by sunlight on make-up mirror

Mon 6 Nov, 2017

A fire at a house in Wendover this afternoon started after sunrays were reflected on to a curtain by a mirror (see picture above).

Two crews from Aylesbury were called to a home in Aylesbury Road, Wendover, shortly before 1pm. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus put out the fire with a hose reel and used a fan to clear away the smoke.

Watch Commander Kevin Mercer said: “The occupant had already poured water on it and said she had previously noticed what she now realised was a scorch mark on the curtain.”

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

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service is called to an average of about two of these fires every year.

In June this year, a fire broke out in a house in Milton Keynes after sunrays were reflected on to a cardboard box by a mirror.

In October last year, sunlight reflecting off a make-up mirror started a fire which severely damaged a flat in Beaconsfield.

In October 2015, a fire at another house in Milton started after sunrays were concentrated on to paperwork after passing through a glass paperweight.

Kevin said: “We are advising people to take extra care, particularly with glass objects such as mirrors and paperweights. Keep them out of contact with direct sunlight, and never put them on or near 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 Fire Risk Check hotline on 01296 744477 or email