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Telescopic Inspection Mirrors are Invaluable - Here`s Why

In the popular ITV series ‘Trigger Point’ Lana Washington, an experienced bomb disposal officer working for the Metropolitan Police, routinely uses a telescopic inspection mirror to examine suspect devices. In this latest post we look at how and why these ‘mirrors on a stick’ are invaluable in a wide range of applications.

When faced with what might be an Improvised Explosive Device (IEDF) bomb disposal experts need to carry out detailed examination without risk of triggering an explosion. Explosive Ordinance Disposal search mirrors (EOD search mirrors) are an invaluable tool used by bomb and hazardous devices technicians in their investigative response tasks. These essential mirrors are available in a wide range of configurations including small, highly portable mirrors that can be inserted into confined spaces via their extendable, telescopic arms along with trolley mirrors, commonly used to examine the underside of vehicles along with over-vehicle search mirrors that enable the inspection of what a vehicle might be carrying.

Here’s a summary of the various search and inspection mirror types you can find in our store.

Under Vehicle Search and Inspection Mirrors

Mirrors specifically designed for under vehicle search and inspection tasks are often mounted on wheels and sometimes called ‘trolley mirrors’. An excellent example is our own Insight Security SM CV650 Clearview Illuminated Under Vehicle Search and Inspection Mirror.

cv650 under vehicle search mirror
Robust Under Vehicle Search and Inspection Mirror


This outstanding search and inspection mirror has been carefully designed to meet stringent requirements for reliable vehicle security inspections. This state of the art search and inspection mirror features high powered, energy efficient illumination that ensures all of the dark cavities under any vehicle can be clearly seen and inspected. The large-size unbreakable mirror features a scratch resistant coating that ensures reflected images are always crystal clear.

This state-of-the-art trolley mirror is rugged, light-weight and the built in light provides reliable illumination for a full 9 hours from a single charge, which only takes a couple of hours.

Over Vehicle Search and Inspection Mirrors

Inspecting the top side of high vehicles is obviously challenging from ground level. This is an example of where light-weight, telescopic search and inspection mirrors are invaluable. Our over-vehicle search and inspection mirror uses a 3 metre telescopic handle that enables the 300mm diameter inspection mirror to be extended to the top side of whatever vehicle is under inspection. The large size mirror provides a clear reflected image that can be easily seen by the operator from ground level, avoiding the need to climb ladders to see what’s being carried.

over vehicle search mirror
Over Vehicle Search and Inspection


Our over vehicle search and inspection mirror is available in two formats, one with illumination and one without. The model without a light is ideal for situations where inspections are carried out in full daylight or in brightly lit environments. And the illuminated version is exactly what’s needed in poorly lit situations and night-time operations. Both of these models are very light-weight making them easy to handle and ensuring they minimise strain and fatigue on the operator.

Telescopic Search and Inspection Mirrors

As well as these under and over vehicle search and inspection mirrors we offer and extensive range of tried and tested telescopic inspection mirrors in a variety of sizes and designs.

search and inspection mirrors
Search and Inspection Mirrors


Our 140mm telescopic inspection mirror is available with either a glass or acrylic mirror. The long telescopic arm extends to 1.5m and closes to just 530mm. The arm can be easily locked in place with a simple twist action. This feature allows the mirror to be comfortable for any operator, regardless of their size. These mirrors are also available with powerful illumination for use in low light situations.

telescopic inspection mirror with torch
Telescopic Search and Inspection Mirror with Torch


We also offer a number of compact telescopic search inspection mirrors in various sizes. These include our compact personal folding pocket search and inspection mirror that’s 85mm in diameter and features LED illumination.

compact search and inspection mirror
Compact Search and Inspection Mirror


Another popular NATO approved model is our pocket inspection mirror with integral torch with a telescopic arm that extends to 800mm and weighs just 340g. 

And our mini folding inspection mirror features a 32mm round mirror (1.25 inches) and conveniently folds flat to comfortably fit in a top pocket.

Search and Inspection Mirror Features

When comparing search and inspection mirrors there are a variety of attributes and features that must be considered.

The application for the search and inspection mirror is obviously of primary importance. As noted, some telescopic search and inspection mirror are specifically designed for defined applications such as under and over vehicle searches. These need to be light-weight, robust and well protected against the knocks and bumps that inevitably occur in busy inspection environments. Tough construction, unbreakable mirrors and rubber armour are all popular features for these applications.

Search and inspection mirrors often need to be useful in dark or poorly lit situations. There are many dark recesses underneath cars and lorries where contraband or even explosive devices can potentially be concealed. A search mirror with built-in illumination is therefore vital.

Telescopic arms are also essential, enabling mirrors to reach the areas that need inspection without putting operators under duress or risk. Inspecting both the underside and top side of what can be very large vehicles should be possible from ground level without requiring inspectors to crawl on their knees or climb ladders. So the telescopic arms need to be long enough to reach all areas that need to be examined and the mirrors must be large enough to provide clear reflections that can be reliably viewed from where the operator is standing.

Search and inspection mirrors must also be both convenient and easy to use. This is where our compact, pocket sized inspection mirrors excel. These models can be easily carried in a pocket or incorporated into a tool kit for use when needed.

Where and How Search and Inspection Mirrors are Used

Search and inspection mirrors are increasingly used in a wide variety of applications. Here are some prime examples of where and how search and inspection mirrors play a vital role.

Border Security

Transport hubs, including airports, ferry terminals and shipping ports, all have rigorous border security control responsibilities. Security staff are faced with the onerous task of quickly, efficiently and effectively inspecting a constant flow of vehicles and people embarking and disembarking from aircraft, ships and buses. They need reliable tools to enable thorough vehicle inspections in search of contraband, stowaways, weapons and explosive devices. The right search and inspection mirrors help them fulfil their responsibilities and keep us all safe.

Prison Security

Prisons of all category levels face a constant stream of vehicles every day including visitors, staff, deliveries and service vehicles. Prison security staff need to efficiently check every vehicle to make certain they aren’t bringing contraband into the prison and no prisoners have hidden away inside, on top or underneath the various vans and cars constantly coming and going. Vehicle search and inspection mirrors enable staff to quickly verify every vehicle without the need to crawl underneath or climb up ladders.

Customs and Excise

Customs and excise officers not only deal with people’s luggage when they return from their vacations, they also need to check all manner of imported and exported freight. And not only must they check the freight, they also need to check and verify the freight carrying transport including lorries, ships, boats and aircraft. Detailed inspection of every container, every cabin and every space on a freighter, for example, is very challenging which is why all customs “rummage squads” are equipped with search and inspection mirrors. If customs and excise have a suspicion that contraband is on board a vessel they can spend a day or more systematically “rummaging” through all areas. They will often refer to a vessel’s blueprints to help identify any false bulkheads, deckheads or pipework that may have been created to conceal illegal items. Telescopic search mirrors are used extensively to inspect hard-to-reach cavities, lockers and spaces.


Ministry of Defence properties, along with NATO establishments. all require high levels of security. These locations are often the natural targets for terrorist attacks. Search and inspection mirrors are widely used by security professionals at these establishments and you can see that many of our search and inspection mirrors are NATO approved.

Trades Applications

There are many situations in which tradespeople need to cope with extremely confined spaces where visibility is obscured. Plumbers, for example, often need to inspect pipework that disappears into hard-to-reach recesses. And electricians need to trace wiring as it disappears under floorboards or into wall spaces. Network and communications technicians are facing similar challenges in dealing with broadband and fibre-optic feeds to our homes and businesses. Automotive engineers and garages also have a need to see into vehicle recesses and cavities and inspect the underside of the vehicles they service.

All of these professionals benefit from adding portable telescopic inspection mirrors to their toolkits. A mirror on a telescopic arm along with a bright lamp or torch can provide exactly what’s needed to overcome awkward access situations and avoid unnecessary dismantling.

Property Surveys

Property surveyors face the challenging task of thoroughly inspecting a variety of premises to provide accurate reports of what’s wrong and what is likely to require attention and investment. They can’t afford to miss any evidence of structural weakness, rot, mould or infestation. But many properties in the UK, especially older buildings, aren’t very accessible which is where telescopic inspection mirrors play a vital role.

Using a telescopic inspection mirror equipped with a bright torch a surveyor can gain a far better indication of where a property requires further attention, often without the need to put themselves at risk.

Antique and Musical Instrument Restoration

Antique furniture and musical instrument restoration is another professional area in which telescopic inspection mirrors are proving to be enormously valuable. Much like an old house, antique furniture can sometimes have inaccessible recesses and cavities that can’t be easily inspected. Reaching into these with an extendable mirror-on-a-stick can quickly determine whether the item has been attacked by word-worm or rot. Similarly, the insides of various musical instruments, such as church organs, can be very inaccessible. A telescopic inspection mirror provides exactly what’s needed to inspect the internal workings.


Agricultural applications for inspection mirrors include the examination of cow’s udders. An illuminated, telescopic inspection mirror provides a safe and effective way to examine the udder cleft area, ensuring early detection of skin issues and promoting optimal animal welfare and milk quality, without causing any harm or discomfort to the cows.

Inspection mirrors also support sheep and goat inspections, avoiding the arduous task of inverting the animals along with the stress this can cause.

Domestic Applications

Search and inspection mirrors are not only vitally important in a wide range of professional applications many homes and businesses now have a compact, telescopic inspection mirror in their domestic tool kits. Here are some examples of how these have been used:

  • Identify the location of a properties mains water supply.
  • Trace wiring through wall cavities.
  • See behind fittings and heavy furniture.
  • View the rear connectors on electronic devices.
  • Inspect guttering without climbing ladders.
  • See what’s on top of tall furniture.
  • More…

You may also be interested in other search & surveillance products available from insight Security. Follow this link to see our selection of security metal detectors. 

For more information on Telescopic Inspection Mirrors are Invaluable - Here`s Why talk to Insight Security

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