Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service are reminding residents not to leave mirrors near windows after a fire at a care home in Rugeley.
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.
The warning comes after a cleaner smelt burning on the first floor of the home in Chaseley Road. She raised the alarm and fire crews were called to the scene at 12:05pm on Thursday February 1.
Firefighters from Rugeley and Cannock found the fire in a first floor bedroom. They wore four breathing apparatus and used a hose reel jet to extinguish the blaze. Positive Pressure Ventilation (PPV) was used to clear smoke and an inspection of the room found the fire was caused by sunlight which had shone on a make-up mirror and ignited nearby curtains.
Station Manager Tim Hollingworth said: “It is very fortunate that the cleaner acted quickly when she smelt the smoke, before the alarms even activated, and the care home staff did an excellent job, working calmly and quickly, to evacuate residents.
“Crews quickly extinguished the fire and once it was safe, elderly residents were able to return to another area of the building to get out of the cold. Thankfully no one was injured but all residents were assessed by paramedics as a precaution as it was quite a shock for them having to be evacuated.
“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.”
For more information on home safety visit the dedicated webpage http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/HomeSafety.asp or call the Service’s Community Advice Team on 0800 0241 999.