Harwich fire department: mirrors in outdoor showers can be dangerous

HARWICH, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – Even in the wettest places, officials said a fire can start under the right circumstances, or in this case, the right angle.

On Sunday, the Harwich Fire Department posted a notice on Facebook warning residents that mirrors in outdoor showers can pose a fire hazard if left unattended, particularly in the spring. Harwich Fire Chief David LeBlanc said his department has responded to more than half a dozen fires that started from exterior mirrors since 1993, most of which occurred in the spring when the sun is at right angles and the temperatures are warmer.

“The shower stall is a protected area, so it allows fire to grow undetected,” the HFD said.

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Firefighters have recommended that owners of outdoor showers tip or cover their mirrors to prevent sunlight from reflecting off the wood of their homes or structures.

The HFD shared a photo of a fire that ignited from a mirror hanging in an outdoor shower, indicating the point of origin of the fire.

LeBlanc said a fire started in Brewster when a mirror fell face up in an outdoor shower in July, when the sun was in a higher risk position for that angle.

The HFD released a photo of a burnt-out house the day after the blaze, showing where sunlight in the photo had refracted into the wood.

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