56 days ago

Mother's warning after sun's reflection from mirror burns daughter's book

Caroline Williams Reporter from North Shore Times

Victoria Short smelt smoke in her home, but couldn’t find any fire.

Unbeknownst to her, a book in her daughter’s bedroom had been smouldering away as she worked from another room.

After several checks of the house offered no hints to where the smoke was coming from, Short continued work, oblivious to the fact the pages of 11-year-old Annalina’s favourite book, Code Name Bananas, were slowly becoming ash.

Annalina, who has a penchant for make-up, was gifted a dinner plate-sized desk mirror for Christmas, which had been sitting on her bookshelf beside a window ever since.

When Annalina arrived home from school, she noticed the book was burnt through its spine and halfway through the pages.

“It just didn’t make sense,” said Short, who is the deputy chair of the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board.

Upon further investigation, Short realised Annalina’s mirror was facing the bookshelf.

“The sunlight seems to have come through the window, hit the concave mirror, and perfectly reflected the magnified sunlight onto the corner of the book.”

Short said the incident made her feel sick to her stomach, adding that she felt lucky the book, and the rest of the bookshelf, didn't catch fire.

“I would never have imagined a mirror could have the potential to burn our house down, never in my wildest dreams. It’s just one of those things you never think twice about.”

After posting about the incident on Facebook, Short has heard of other people who have witnesses similar incidents, including someone who had left a drink bottle in their car which reflected the sun and burnt the seat.

The incident has “triggered a level of anxiety” for Short, who is now concerned about other reflective objects in her home, including a glass table.

She has used the incident as an opportunity to check her smoke alarms are in working order, while Annalina has found a new place to keep her mirror – in her wardrobe.

Fire and Emergency NZ national advisor for fire risk management Peter Gallagher said mirrors, glasses, ornaments and plastic water bottles can reflect and focus the sun’s rays and become a fire danger.

Fires caused by this were rare, however people should consider moving flammable items away or cover any reflective surfaces.

Has something similar happened to you? Email me at caroline.williams@stuff.co.nz

More messages from your neighbours
7 hours ago

We Say/You Say: Anzac Day

The Team from Community News

Hi Auckland,

How are you commemorating Anzac Day? What stories have been passed down through your whānau?

April 25 marks the 106-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, one of the most costly campaigns for the Allied Forces during World War I.

Anzac dawn and commemorative services up and down the country are scheduled to get underway after widespread cancellations last year, due to the nation being under Alert Level 4 restrictions.

The NZDF have advised of a reduced presence of military personnel at Anzac services due to deployment at MIQ facilities.

You can check out where the Anzac day services are on this interactive map on the RSA website.

Feel free and share your stories below and don't forget to type NFP if you don't want your comments used your local community paper.

1 day ago

Ever noticed the empty buses ? What's the answer ?

Todd Niall Reporter from Auckland Stuff

Hi Neighbours, If buses are running near empty, maybe the traditional way of providing public transport needs a rethink. Read the story below on the empty buses of Hobsonville Point. What's the answer ?

2 hours ago

Major road layout change on Upper Harbour Hwy

Caroline Williams Reporter from North Shore Times

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport agency is advising North Shore motorists of a significant change to Upper Harbour Hwy (SH18) next week.

From 5am on Tuesday April 27, motorists will exit SH18 via a new off-ramp at Paul Matthews Drive.

The new road layout will shift all eastbound traffic onto the off-ramp and through a new intersection, where motorists may turn left to go towards Rosedale, and right to either continue onto Constellation Drive or turn onto Unsworth Heights and the northern motorway (SH1) on-ramp.

The road layout change is required to create a new construction zone for new northbound connections as part of the Northern Corridor Improvements, national manager of infrastructure delivery Andrew Thackwray said.

“The nature of this work means it will cause some disruption to road users, but when finished the Northern Corridor Improvements will provide much better transport options on the North Shore for freight, cars, pedestrians and cyclists.”

He encouraged motorists to plan ahead and allow extra travel time, as major delays are expected during the morning and afternoon peaks, adding that those heading to the CBD should consider using the northwestern motorway (SH16) instead.

Traffic lights and queues at the intersection will be monitored and signal phases may be adjusted to improve traffic flow if required.