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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Sunshine could be to blame for serious fire in Horam

Date : 03 March 2022

Serious fire in Horam.jpg

The sun shining off a mirror may be to blame for a fire which left a thatched house seriously damaged.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service have been carrying out a fire investigation following the incident on 2nd February 2022 at 09:50.

We were called to reports of the roof being on fire at the two storey building on Nettlesworth Lane, Horam.

Crews used firefighting foam and water but unfortunately the fire had taken hold and the whole building was affected.

Jake Brooks (Fire Investigator) from the Service said: “Due to the extent of the damage, it is not possible to say with absolute certainty what caused the fire, however a likely cause is sun reflecting off a mirror.

The sun’s rays can become concentrated by reflective or focusing objects including mirrors, glasses, paperweights or plastic items and other items nearby start to smoulder and sometimes catch fire. 

It is a common problem seen by other Fire and Rescue Services as well as by this Service. These incidents tend to occur in rooms with south facing windows and when the sun is lower so we’re asking everyone to take a look to see whether they could be at risk.”

Useful advice 

  • 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. 
  • Don't place objects capable of focusing the sun’s rays close to the window and combustible materials such as upholstery, curtains or paper.

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