The London Fire Brigade reports that low winter sun refraction has been the cause of another destructive fire- this time causing devastation in the bedroom of a home in Peregrine Gardens, Shirley.
A concave mirror focused the sunrays onto bedding and the resulting blaze badly damaged the first floor.
A woman escaped after hearing her smoke alarm sound and was checked over by London Ambulance Service crews.
Brigade fire investigator Mark Ross said:
The winter sun seems to be more prevalent this year so I’d ask everyone to keep mirrors, bottles of water and crystal balls out of direct sunlight. Thankfully the resident was alerted to the fire by her smoke alarm that our crews fitted two years ago.
It is essential that everyone has at least one smoke alarm on every level of their home.
Watch Manager, Andy Vaughan-Davies, of the Fire Investigation Team, explains why these fires aren’t a myth:
The Brigade was called at 11.22 am and the fire was under control by 12.10.
Fire crews from Norbury and Addington fire stations were at the scene.
The London Fire Brigade report that over the last five years there have been 125 fires caused by the sun rays.
The Nutella jar fire incident received worldwide coverage.
A small fire in the Mayfair home of lingerie tycoon Michelle Mone received media notice when she tweeted her 889,000 followers that sunlight had refracted off of a mirror onto a bean bag.
She put the fire out herself and the Brigade didn’t attend.
One theory being explored by investigators that may account for the increase of sun light ignition is the decline in the use of net curtain.
In the past these curtains provided a barrier of protection between outside sunlight and refracting and magnifying objects in the home.
The Brigade’s top three safety tips
- Keep mirrors and crystal or glass objects away from the sunny sills
- Fit at least one smoke alarm per floor and test them every week to make sure they work and the batteries are not flat.
- If you have a fire, close the door on the blaze, get out, stay out and call the Brigade