HOUSEHOLDERS are being warned by fire safety experts not to leave mirrors near windows.
The warning comes after Staffordshire firefighters were alerted to a first-floor bedroom blaze in Barton-under-Needwood yesterday.
An inspection of the extensively damaged room (pictured) found that the fire was caused by sunlight which had reflected off a mirror and ignited nearby materials.
Station manager John Kitchener said: “Thankfully due to there being working smoke alarms in this home the occupants were alerted to the fire quickly. Despite this it developed quickly and spread to exposed timber beams and the roof space, causing significant damage.
“Many people don’t realise that sunlight can be extremely powerful and if reflected off the surface of a mirror it can produce enough heat to ignite flammable materials.
“Always keep reflective items such as mirrors away from direct sunlight. Special care should be taken with convex and concave shaving or make-up mirrors which can magnify the sun’s rays onto combustible items such as blinds, curtains or bedding, causing them to ignite.