Warning after mirror starts fire in Selsey

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Firefighters in Selsey are warning people to keep mirrors and reflective glass objects away from sunny windows after a ‘close call’ this morning.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said crews were alerted at around 9am when a resident called to say she could smell smoke at her home in Park Crescent.

Crews from Selsey and Chichester arrived within minutes and found a magnifying mirror had refracted sunlight onto a patch of carpet.

It is believed that, as the sun rose, the refracted light burnt a track through the carpet.

Crew Commander Mark Bateman said: “When this lady got up this morning she had opened the curtains on her patio windows and the sunlight refracted from a magnifying mirror some distance away from the window.

“These sorts of fires are not as rare as you would think and don’t only occur in the heat of summer.

“We would advise everyone to be careful with crystal, glass or mirror objects close to windows in sunny rooms.”

WSFRS top three safety tips to avoid such incidents are:

• Keep mirrors and crystal or glass objects away from sunny windows.

• 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 fire service.

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