A local family had a lucky escape this week when light reflected from the sun onto a dressing table vanity mirror directed heat onto an upholstered chair. The material then smoldered and was badly scorched by the rays, but quick thinking by a teenager averted a disaster. The girl had smelt smoke when she had gone back up to her bedroom in the afternoon to pick up her sports bag, and investigated what the source might be. She quickly noticed that her chair was smouldering, and immediately moved the mirror, and took steps to damp down the impending fire, and alert the family. This warning comes now due to the sun being low in the sky at this time of year so it can catch people out. Even during cold spells, the rays from the sun can be very strong and come in at a low angle. Firefighters are asking everyone to not put glass and reflective items on windowsills as sunlight reflecting off mirrors and the heat from the reflection can easily cause fires to wallpaper, and furniture, and risk dreadful damage to the house in a matter of minutes. We have also learned recently of a house fire caused by sunlight reflecting into the house from a glass table in the garden. If you have a magnifying mirror or other items containing lenses or glass items such as paperweights in your home then please ensure they are not facing the sun or in a place where the sun can reflect from them on to materials or objects. We’re not used to long spells of hot, sunny weather in Ireland, and while not every danger can be foreseen or prevented, taking some simple steps can reduce the chances of a fire in your home.
Safety advice includes:
Keep magnifying mirrors out of direct sunlight
Never put glass crockery, ornaments or paperweights on window sills
Never place glass ornaments or paperweights in direct sunlight
Make sure shaving or vanity mirrors are not left on window sills
Be aware of objects in your home such as shaving or vanity mirrors and glass ornaments or paperweights that may be exposed to direct sunlight
You can also stay safe by ensuring you have smoke alarms fitted on each floor of your home and testing them once a week. It’s a good idea to have an escape plan too, so everyone in the household knows how to get to safety in an emergency (image source Monaghan Fire and Civil Protection Service)