Makeup mirrors can cause fires, Toronto woman warns
Published Friday, September 29, 2017 8:58AM EDT
A Toronto woman wants to warn others that their makeup mirrors could be potential fire hazards, after her husband stopped a fire that almost destroyed their home.
Sofia Mihaylova says this past July, during a particularly sunny day, her makeup mirror started a small fire on her window sill.
She had just left for work and phoned her husband at home to ask him to close the blinds and curtains to keep the heat out. When he went into their bedroom, he discovered a small blue flame burning a hole into the window sill.
"If he wasn't lucky enough to enter the room at that very moment, we would have had a house fire," Mihaylov told CTV Toronto.
The couple realized the burn on their windowsill was caused by sunlight reflecting in Mihaylov’s makeup mirror.
Mihaylov contacted Conair -- the manufacturer of the mirror – to tell them what happened. She says she was told that the instructions that come with the mirror include a safety warning that states that "when heat reflects on the mirror, a fire can occur."
Makeup mirrors typically have a regular side and a magnifying side with a concave mirror. If the concave side is placed into direct sunlight, the mirror can focus the sun’s rays and start a fire on anything combustible.
Many outdoor enthusiasts know this well and carry magnifying glasses or concave mirrors to start campfires using the sun’s rays.
The chance of a mirror accidentally causing a fire is remote, but it does happen. The London Fire Brigade in the U.K. issued a statement in 2015 warning homeowners to keep all glass objects away from windows, including mirrors, crystal, glass paperweights and more, after it responded to 125 fires in the previous five years, all caused by the sun's rays.
In one case, an empty jar holding elastic bands that was placed in front of a window ignited a fire that destroyed a bedroom and caused the death of the family dog.
Mihaylov wants to warn others with makeup mirrors to keep them away from windows.
"Just don't leave mirrors like this directly exposed to sunlight, because they could cause a fire,” she says.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Pat Foran