mirrors: will one start a fire?

louisianagal(z7bMS)May 27, 2008

I have been wondering this. We have many clear hot blue days in summer. Will a mirror on the fence start a fire? Has this ever happened to anyone?

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I've had two mirrors out back, both in direct sun.
I've never had a fire but I will tell you that the plants I had right up against the mirror turned into crispy critters.

Something about the sun rays bouncing back on the flowers and leaves and burning them to death.

Maybe use nylon rope or heavy twine on the back of the mirror to sort of tilt the mirror downward when hanging it so it's not getting direct sun?
I dunno--but I hope someone comes here with an answer about it being a fire hazard. I'd like to know too.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 8:50PM
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I haven't been here for awhile, but will add my two cents ......Yes, you can start a fire with the mirror and sun, but you need to have it angled right and in lots of dead grass or other fire starter stuff. Think we used to use the top of a flashlight so it reflected. I wouldn't worry about on tope of a post.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 9:06PM
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This reminded me of a caution re a fish bowl in house that sunlight was shining though, almost set some paper near it on fire, started smoldering ( you should never put fish bowl in direct sunlight anyway) Didn't happen to me. Do you suppose that could happen with ornamental glass outside too?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 1:21PM
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you know i got to wondering if maybe fish & chips from the other post got too hot in that jar? maybe they didn't have the brains to dive lower....

    Bookmark   May 30, 2008 at 1:57PM
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Coming out from the lurking rafters....two years ago was a hot sunny day & DH was looking at some stuff at a garage sale . He wasn't standing at the table very long when all of a sudden his shirt caught fire. The gal had a mirror on table & it was reflecting on his shirt it first started smoking and then caught fire. This happened in less than two minutes.

It was a very scary situation to say the least. Thank goodness it wasn't a small child standing there.
I have some nice round mirror tiles that I'd love to hang from tree but once was enough for me.
When we had a sale last year I made sure there were no mirrors.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 3:56AM
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I haven't had a problem with my mirrors in the garden. I thought as a kid it was hard to start a fire with a magnifying glass so I am not sure how easy it would be to start one with a mirror. Might be a good experiment(-:

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 11:00AM
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YES I had a bathroom mirror siting on my dresser that was on the opposite side of the room from the window and the mirror rays sat a pair of gloves on fire. THANK GOD we were home at the time. BE VERY CAREFUL with mirrors.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 12:49PM
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moonphase(z7 Ga)

cindee-do you have any photos of your mirrors?I have a big one framed in wood I want to use I forgot where I saw that idea posted but it looked awesome

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 3:22AM
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I have been considering making a garden mirror along the lines of one I saw on this Uk website but am now having second thoughts after reading these posts.
Anyway here is the website with a picture of the mirror.


Sorry. I don't know how to post just the picture.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 11:29AM
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Cinder_Ella(z7 PNW)

Magnifying mirrors definitely will concentrate the sun's rays and start a fire just like a magnifying glass.

We had this happen in our bathroom - set a roll of paper towels on fire.

I suspect the other fire stories were related to magnifying mirrors.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 4:26PM
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kudzukween(8 MS)

This wasn't mirrors, but once we were in the country at a small store and a truck in the parking lot caught on fire from a BB-type hole in the windshield. Caught the seat on fire. Another time at the shopping center a car caught fire from having a prism thingie hanging on the rear view mirror. Same thing, caught the seat on fire. It gets really hot down here in the South, maybe it has to be a certain temp to cause things to ignite?? I haven't been able to handle mirrors in the yard, the silver gazing ball we had in the round flower bed had to go because it was shining into the picture window at us! Was very blinding! lol

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 4:53PM
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