FIRE WARNING: Beware what you put near your windows

Damage from a fire in Weston, Nottinghamshire, caused by a magnifying mirror.
Damage from a fire in Weston, Nottinghamshire, caused by a magnifying mirror.

The fire service is urging Nottinghamshire residents to be careful putting magnifying objects near windows following a recent fire.

The warning comes after firefighters were called to a fire in Weston recently which was started by a magnifying make-up mirror.

Sun rays hit the mirror, creating an “intense beam of heat” which set alight some nearby curtains.

This incident was dealt with quickly and nobody was hurt, however Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is keen to stress that these types of fires can happen any time but can be more common in spring and autumn due to the low sun - and can be avoided as long as people are careful with what they place on windowsills and near to windows.

Magnifying items can include fish bowls, glass ornaments, paperweights and glasses of water, as well as mirrors.

Crew Manager Andy Oxnard, who works as part of the team, said: “We would strongly advise that people avoid placing these types of objects near windows as they can potentially concentrate the sun’s rays and set fire to nearby items such as curtains, paper or clothes.

“Fortunately there was nobody injured at the fire in Weston recently, and the damage was only small, however it could have been a lot worse.”

The same crew from Newark also attended another similar incident towards the end of last year.

This fire, which was at a property in Muskham, started after rays from the sun were accidentally concentrated by a mirror onto some paper - which then set alight.

Andy is also advising that people have a general look at their windowsills to see if they currently have any magnifying objects on there and, if so, that they take them off where possible.

“We would also urge people to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes in case something like this does happen and that, in such a situation, they get out, stay out and call 999,” he added.