Anyone who purchases a hand-held magnifier from us will receive in their box a sheet of information about the Lifetime Warranty that comes with the magnifier. But after the greeting on this large print piece of writing, the very first sentence warns you not to leave your magnifier out where the sun can reach it.

This is a warning to take seriously. These useful tools can cause a fire.

The other day a gentleman came in to purchase a desktop reading machine. He had left a magnifier that someone had given him out in his apartment while he was resting in the other room. A fire started in a chair and quietly smoldered until the room was full of smoke and a smoke alarm sounded. The fire caused $4,000 worth of damage to his apartment, forcing him to relocate for eight days. He also continues to having breathing problems from smoke inhalation.

This story reminded me to remind all the magnifier users who read my blog to start, as I have, a renewed habit of always knowing, and continually checking, where your magnifier is in your home.

One time I was with Ken working in Medford, Oregon. We were at a stop light. I had my magnifier in my hand, resting it on top of my leather folio in my lap. I remember saying to Ken, “I smell marshmallows,” at which point we both saw a whiff of smoke coming from my side of the car. Sure enough, in the time of a red light stop at an intersection, my magnifier had put a cigarette-type burn in my folio.

These stories offer an important reminder that a little awareness goes a long way to keep us safe from fire, and even another reminder that those information sheets that come in boxes of things we buy might actually be worth reading.