At 16:26, firefighters from Lewes, Eastbourne and Seaford attended a fire in a residential property on Chilver Bridge Road, Arlington. The fire emanated from the first floor of a terrace house. Firefighters used six Breathing Apparatus and two Hose Reel Jets to extinguish the fire. Crews isolated the electric and gas and ventilated the property. One resident was handed over in to the care of SECAMB after suffering from smoke inhalation.
Andy Watson, Watch Commander, Green Watch- Lewes said: “The most likely cause of the fire was as a result of heat from the sun’s rays being concentrated by a reflective mirror or lenses. We would recommend that you consider moving mirrors, glasses or glass ornaments, such as crystals away from windows to avoid the risk of fire and ensure you test your smoke alarm once a week.”
Did you know?
Our firefighters often attend incidents where the sun’s rays have been concentrated by reflective or focusing objects including mirrors, spectacles, paperweights or plastic items and caused flammable objects placed nearby to smoulder and sometimes catch fire.
In East Sussex we have attended around 20 similar incidents in the past four years and it is a common problem seen by other fire and rescue services. These incidents tend to occur in rooms with south facing windows.
Safety Message - Do
- Consider storing objects such as magnifying glasses, mirrors, spectacles and glass ornaments away from windows, particularly if it is south facing, or covering them when not in use.
- Take extra care during the autumn and winter months when the sun is low in the sky.
- Get into the habit of closing internal doors when you leave home and as part of your bedtime routine.
- Test your smoke alarm every week.
Safety Message - Don't
- Place objects capable of focusing the sun’s rays close to the window and combustible materials such as upholstery, curtains or paper.