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Warning after sunlight reflecting off make-up mirror causes house fire

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Firefighters are urging residents in Gedling borough to be careful when placing magnifying objects near windows after a house fire was caused by sunlight reflecting off a make-up mirror.

Nottinghamshire firefighters were recently called to a house fire in Weston recently that started after the sun’s rays hit a magnifying make-up mirror, creating an intense beam of heat which set alight some nearby curtains.

This incident was dealt with quickly and nobody was hurt, however the Service’s Community Safety team is keen to stress that these types of fires – which can happen any time but can be more common in Spring and Autumn due to the low sun – can be avoided as long as people are careful with what they place on windowsills and near to windows.

“When we talk about magnifying objects we refer to everyday things such as fish bowls, glass ornaments, paperweights and glasses of water, as well as mirrors,” said Crew Manager Andy Oxnard, who works as part of the team.

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“We would strongly advise that people avoid placing these types of objects near windows as they can potentially concentrate the sun’s rays and set fire to nearby items such as curtains, paper or clothes.

“Fortunately there was nobody injured at the fire in Weston recently, and the damage was only small, however it could have been a lot worse.”

The same crew also attended another similar incident to the one in Weston towards the end of last year. This fire, which was at a property in Muskham, started after rays from the sun were accidentally concentrated by a mirror onto some paper – which then set alight.

Andy is also advising that people have a general look at their windowsills to see if they currently have any magnifying objects on there and, if so, that they take them off where possible.

He added: “We would also urge people to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes in case something like this does happen and that, in such a situation, they get out, stay out and call 999

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