Sunlight reflecting off mirror sparks blaze
Keep mirrors with a magnifying surface out of direct sunlight
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) has praised the actions of a Faversham family after fire broke out in a first floor bedroom this morning.
Liz Swan was in the garden of her Finch Close home, when her teenage son and his girlfriend alerted her to the blaze in her daughter’s unoccupied bedroom.
Ms Swan said: “I rushed into the house to hear all the smoke alarms sounding, made sure the bedroom doors were closed and we immediately got out of the house to wait outside with our pet dog.
“I rang 999 at around 9.30am and the firefighters were absolutely brilliant, they were on the scene within a couple of minutes and we were so grateful for their assistance and support.”
Two fire engines were sent to the property and a breathing apparatus team used a hose reel to quickly bring the fire under control.
Faversham Crew Manager, Dan Wooller, said: “We believe the fire started accidentally after sunlight reflected from a magnifying vanity mirror onto blinds. By the time we arrived, within three minutes of receiving the emergency call, it had already spread to curtains and bedding.
“Incidents like this while rare, really do highlight the fact that fire can start when you least expect it. Ms Swan and her family were very unlucky to have a fire of this nature but fortunately the outcome was a lot less serious than it could have been.
“When she realised there was fire in her home she did all the right things, she left her home, called us straight away and gave us all the information we needed for a fast response. She also had working smoke alarms in her home which provided the valuable early warning that a fire had started.”
Ms Swann added: “I’ve always worried about having a fire in my home but it never occurred to me that the sun could cause a fire in this way, especially at this time of the year. There is no doubt that we were lucky, while our home has fire and smoke damage, we were all unharmed but it’s still a huge shock.”
KFRS is reminding others to ensure mirrors and other reflective objects such as crystal and glass ornaments should be kept out of direct sunlight. It’s also vital to make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home.
A Red Cross Vehicle also attended to provide emotional and practical support to the family.
KFRS offer free safety advice and services to everyone, speak to one of our home safety advisors today - call freephone 0800 923 7000, or email us. All our services are free of charge.