A viral TikTok has shown how everyone should be careful about where they place objects in their home as a woman was shocked to spot her sofa smoking due to the sun reflecting on her makeup mirror.
Lydia Cooke (@lydiacooke) from Cornwall filmed what unfolded in front of her as a line of smoke appeared from her brown leather sofa and the video shows her moving the cushion for a closer inspection then attempting to pat the source of the smoke to stop it.
"I was today years old when I learnt how house fires can start," Cooke wrote in on-screen text.
"Commence house fire fear," the TikToker added in the caption.
The clip has since gone viral, with 20.1m views, 847,000 likes along with thousands of comments from people who shared their thoughts on the near miss.
One person said: "Thanks, new fear unlocked."
"Someone didn’t watch Modern Family," another person wrote, referring to the Undeck the Halls episode of the comedy sitcom where the there is a burn mark on the Dunphy's family couch was caused by the refracting sunlight through a Christmas ornament that Frank (Fred Willard) sent them and not from one of the kids smoking.
Someone else added: "This is why BLINDS are important."
"Mirrors. Glasses. Eye glasses. Anything with a reflective surface can pinpoint to a hot point," a fourth person commented.
In a follow-up video, Cooke showed viewers the mirror that caused the couch to smoke: "This is the mirror that caused the reflection, it's one of those kind of make-up mirrors that flips and one side is magnified."
She then had the mirror on the magnified side as she explained: "I'm assuming it was this side that was up. Obviously, you can kind of see how it happened now."
"I was just at the window doing my eyebrows. It was absolutely chucking it down, there was no signs of sun whatsoever
"And I'd put the mirror down and gone to the kitchen to do some work," Cook recalled and noted in on-screen text how the "weather switches" in Cornwall.
Replying to @Chenny Chann an explanation… hope it’s been educational in some way! #sofafire #explain
"A couple of hours later realised how sunny it was, turned around and just saw this weird smoke coming from the sofa so obviously had no idea what was going on, thought I'd been burning incense and lost my mind and forgotten about it."
Cooke then recorded the smoke as evidence to show her landlord, noted the damage was her fault but "wanted to show what happened."
"And then realised that it was the mirror, and that I'd put it down earlier that day," she said.
"It kind of was just the sun in the complete wrong space, beaming onto the mirror that I'd placed randomly in the complete wrong place as well.
"I'm just so glad I caught it early, and that everyone else can learn from my mistakes."
At the end, she responded to comments from people about getting blinds to which she said she has some but like to let the light in.
"Because this has never happened before, it wasn't built into me to think I should have them closed," Cooke said. "It's been an amazing summer, it's been sunny all year and it's never happened."
Cooke's house fire fears are not unfounded since warnings have been issued previously by officials over house fires being caused by the sun shining on reflective objects.
Prevention group manager Mark Thomas said: “Fires caused in this way are becoming more and more apparent.
“Both of these fires were started by the reflected light from the sun, which directed rays from magnifying mirrors onto combustible items.
“Take a look around your home - if you have magnifying mirrors or other items such as glass ornaments or paperweights, please make sure they are kept out of direct sunlight or where the sun can reflect from them onto other items.
Station Officer Chris Haggar explained how these types of fires "are not as rare as you would think," and how important it is to ensure "reflective items such as mirrors, crystals and glass ornaments are kept out of direct sunlight."
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.