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The dangers of mirrors and jars

We issued a warning this time last year about the dangers of mirrors or glass in the sun. Recent news stories show just how devastating this can be so we’re issuing the warning again.

Last time, a pile of papers started to smoulder because of sunlight reflected by a make-up mirror, but the fire didn’t take hold. This time, rays from the sun coming in through a window went on to a make-up mirror and were then refracted on to bedroom curtains which caught fire – and the room was extensively damaged.

This follows reports earlier this year about a fire started by a glass jar. A seven-year-old girl kept her collection of loom bands in the jar on a windowsill. Rays from the sun shone on the top of the jar and were magnified on to a dolls’ house on the floor which burst into flames. The property in Twickenham suffered £250,000 worth of damage and the family’s pet dog was killed by the smoke.

According to the Evening Standard, a local fire officer commented: “These sort of fires are not as rare as you think. I’ve seen everything from mirrors and Nutella jars to sparkly knobs and crystal balls starting fires.”

The advice from the fire service is to keep mirrors and glass objects out of direct sunlight, particularly early and late in the day when the sun is at its lowest and at a more dangerous angle. And of course, as always, it’s vital to have working smoke alarms in your home – and to test them regularly.

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