Society

Doorknob Starts House Fire (Photo)

| by Sheena Vasani

Who knew doorknobs could start house fires?

That's what one Reddit user learned after the sun hit his glass doorknob, setting surrounding objects ablaze.

Many responded with surprise that a doorknob could cause such destruction.

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"Wow talk about a weird freak accident," wrote one user.

Others were not as shocked, with some sharing similar stories.

One user recalls a truck being set on fire after sunlight hit a glass bottles.

"A similar thing happened to my neighbor's truck this past summer," wrote another user. "They were in the process of moving, and one of the boxes in the bed of the truck had some glass bottles in it. The sunlight, shining through the bottles, started the cardboard boxes on fire which spread to the truck and destroyed it."

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Another wrote how his parents avoided disaster with the help of an unlikely hero: their dog.

"Something like this almost happened at my parents' house," the user chimed in. "They were using a glass paper weight as a door stop, and it almost caught the carpet on fire. Thankfully, one of our dogs, who was terrified of flames or anything burning (you couldn't even light a candle around her) ran over to the glass ball and knocked it aside as soon as she smelled the carpet beginning to burn a bit."

According to the London Fire Brigade, sunlight refracting through glass objects caused 125 fires in London over the course of five years.

"These sort of fires are not as rare as you would think," said Charlie Pugsley from the brigade's fire investigation unit. "I’ve seen everything from sparkly door knobs to crystal balls starting fires."

Fire officials warn people to be careful where they put glass objects in their homes.

"Crystal and glass ornaments and items such as mirror tables should be kept out of direct sunlight," Pugsley warned.  Also make sure that you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home."

Sources: Reddit, London Fire Brigade / Photo credit: Rachel/Flickr, Imgur via Reddit

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