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

Posted on: 28 October 2015

During 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.