GUELPH -- An everyday item almost started a fire at a home in Guelph.

The family is speaking out about the risks of mirrors, not knowing it could be a hazard.

"My wife was getting ready for the day and normally she likes to sit in front of the bedroom window to do her makeup," homeowner Brian Adkins said. "Probably within 30 minutes, 45 minutes later, my wife came in the room and when she opened the bedroom door, the first thing she notice was there was an odour."

Her makeup mirror was reflecting sunlight and burning a hole in the window frame.

"It's not something that is common," Chief Fire Prevention Officer Tony Sabatini said. "It's relatively rare actually."

The magnified side of the mirror was in direct sunlight, focusing the sun's rays and almost starting a fire in the nearby frame.

"The heat that can be generated when it actually touches an object can reach up to about 450 degrees Fahrenheit or that's roughly around 230 degrees Celsius," Sabatini said.

It wasn't enough smoke to trigger the alarm, but the fire department said it's a good reminder of why working smoke alarms are important.

"It could have been worse," Adkins said. "Instead of just a new window, it could have been a whole room."

Adkins and his wife have put up curtains and close them at the end of her morning routine, one that now ends with the mirror being set aside.


This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously identified Tony Sabatini as the Guelph Fire Chief. In fact, his title is Chief Fire Prevention Officer.