Low winter sun, vanity mirrors & fish bowls - a real fire risk

Posted on: 28 October 2015

As we’re approaching winter, we want to make our customers aware of the very real risk of house fires caused by the rays of the low winter sun.

As a household insurance provider, we’ve dealt with a number of claims caused by the sun’s rays which have had devastating effects for our customers and their families. The sun can shine through a home’s windows and become focused on a very small area by glass objects such as crystal ornaments, vases, mirrors, and even fish bowls and jam jars.  When the sunlight is concentrated on a small area, this can cause material furnishings to catch fire.

So, at any time of the year, but particularly on sunny mornings, bear the following in mind:

  • Keep glass and anything that could concentrate the sun’s rays out of direct sunlight and away from window sills – particularly when the sun is low in the sky. This includes objects such as vases, crystal ornaments, jars, bottles, and mirrors.
  • Maybe you have a dressing table close to a bedroom window with a vanity mirror on it? It might seem harmless enough but sadly there have been devastating house fires caused by these kind of situations.
  • You should have a smoke alarm on every floor of your property - possibly even more than one, depending on the size of your home. Check your smoke alarms monthly to ensure the batteries don’t run flat.
If you do have a fire – close the door on the blaze, get out, stay out and call 999.