London Fire Brigade

Mirror sets curtains on fire while residents are on holiday

07 August 2013

Firefighters tackled a fire in a house in Enfield this week that is believed to have been caused by a vanity mirror. The mirror, which was close to a window, focused the sun’s rays, which set fire to the curtains of a front bedroom. The occupants of the house were away on holiday at the time, but luckily a neighbour out walking her dog heard the smoke alarm going off and called the Brigade.

A spokesperson for the London Fire Brigade said:

“This sort of fire happens several times a year in the capital – usually when it’s very sunny. Try and avoid keeping make up and shaving mirrors in windowsills, as the magnification can cause the sun’s rays to focus and set fire to things.

“We’ve attended around half a dozen of these fires since this summer and if the sunny weather continues, we may see a few more. They’re usually caused by mirrors, bottles, broken glass, and even goldfish bowls.

“Though the residents of the property are coming back to a burnt bedroom, the damage would have been a lot worse if a neighbour hadn’t heard the smoke alarm and dialled 999. Smoke alarms will alert you (or your neighbours) to a fire quickly, enabling firefighters to put the fire out before it causes too much damage. Test your alarm every week and make sure your family and your neighbours know what to do if they hear it going off.”

Two fire engines went to the fire, which caused a small amount of damage to the first floor of a semi detached house on Lakeside in Enfield.

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