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We all welcome the summer sun but be aware of the risks of reflected sunlight

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We all welcome the summer sun but be aware of the risks of reflected sunlight

We all welcome the summer sun but be aware of the risks of reflected sunlight: warns HWFRS

With summer finally here, we’re all looking forward to hot, sunny days to relax and soak up the warmth.

However, we’re reminding people not to leave mirrors or glass in positions where they can magnify the sun’s rays and cause a fire.

This has been brought home by the recent fire at the Bluebell Inn in Guarlford, Malvern.

This was sparked by sunlight shining through a broken glass bottle in the flower bed and igniting a hedge - which then spread to the building.

You can see more details on our Twitter site.

Also, at the beginning of the year – even during much cooler weather - there were two serious fires in Merseyside caused by sunlight reflecting off mirrors.

Those were started by reflected light from the sun, which directed rays from magnifying mirrors on to combustible items.

Find out more about the Merseyside incidents on Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/254555734447/posts/10159908642449448/?d=n Merseyside fires.

Now, with the much stronger sunshine and longer days we’re enjoying, direct sunlight on to mirrors can cause serious problems.

Last year, HWFRS fire crews deployed to an incident in Clifton upon Teme in May 2021 when a mirror is believed to have focused the sun's rays on to an extension lead, causing a fire.

Officers needed breathing apparatus to enter the property and extinguish the fire.

Find out about it on our Facebook site at clifton upon teme house fire

Station Commander Sara Hall, from the HWFRS Prevention department, said:

“This kind of fire is far more common than people imagine! While enjoying the summer sunshine, it’s vital we all make time to look around our homes and see what ornaments or everyday items could cause a fire.

“If you have magnifying mirrors or items such as glass ornaments or paperweights, please keep them out of direct sunlight or where the sun can reflect on to other items.

“Never leave shaving or vanity mirrors on windowsills, and also keep aerosols or any other flammable items out of direct sunlight.

“Above all, fit working smoke alarms on every floor and test them every week. Don’t ignore a smoke alarm going off, even if it isn’t yours.

“Whether in your property or a neighbour’s, check it out and call 999 immediately if you suspect a fire.

“Those vital few seconds could help save a life. If outside, don’t try to enter the property yourself if you think there’s a fire – Get out, Stay out and Call 999.

“You can find out more about fire safety at hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice/, and you can contact our Prevention Team on 0800 032 1155 to see if you might qualify for a free Home Fire Safety visit.

“You can also complete a FREE online Home Fire Safety Check now by following the link on our website.

Remember these tips to stay safe from this type of fire:

  • keep magnifying mirrors out of direct sunlight
  • never put glass ornaments or paperweights on window sills or in direct sunlight
  • make sure shaving or vanity mirrors are not left on window sills
  • be aware of objects in your home that may be exposed to direct sunlight
  • have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home
  • consider installing additional alarms in rooms with electrical appliances or sleeping areas
  • test your smoke alarms once a week
  • in the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999.

Go to Home safety | Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service for a wealth of invaluable guidance