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In something of a first, this leader has nothing to do with cleaning. I might normally look for a tenuous link, dubbing it a ‘housekeeping’ or health & safety piece, but on this occasion there’s no need. I’m sharing since I ought to and because I can. If it saves the life of just one of Cleanzine’s 100,000-plus readers it will have been well worth using a bit of ‘journalistic licence’!
My Facebook status posted last Friday probably says it best: “Just had a lucky escape... although it's only March & a rainy day, sunshine had reached my mirror - some six feet away from the window - & the beam had set light to this canvas box. Lucky Melissa Hobbs & I were home to investigate & prevent house from burning down. Watch where you put your mirrors peeps & don’t be fooled by the March sun!”
Comments from friends taught me it was the magnifying side of the mirror, facing the sun, which caused the issue, so do be careful about how you angle mirrors (and magnifying glasses!) – even if it doesn’t appear to be that sunny and even if they’re nowhere near the window.
And although my smoke alarm is working fine, it hadn’t gone off before I discovered the smouldering canvas box. Mel puts this down to the strong smell of aftershave we were discussing in the downstairs hallway which kept us in that part of the house and thus closer to the source of the problem and more able to discover it before it could do much damage. She’s convinced it was her father, who sadly left these parts (or so we had thought!) eight years ago, come back to warn us. Whatever it was that tipped us off that something was wrong, we’re grateful it’s just a canvas box that was burnt and that John Austen’s not writing this leader in my place…
There’s a growing movement to remind people in my part of the world to do the ‘Tick Tock Test’, by testing their smoke alarms when they put their clocks forward (as we did last weekend) to make the most of the lighter Summer evenings. OK, so you might have missed that opportunity, but there’s no reason not to do it today and while you’re at it, do please share my story with your family and colleagues. It might just save someone's home or workplace - and even a life…
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2nd April 2015