My Material Life

Warning: Snow Globes Can Cause Fire!


Dear Reader,

Have you ever been in just the right place at just right the time to allow you to avert disaster?  This just happened to me, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am.  I haven’t been home much this week and in addition to that, the weather has been mostly rainy or overcast, but today I had some time to spend at home and even though the sun is shining and it is a beautiful day, I decided to sit on my family room couch and try to finish some embroidery on knit gloves that I’ve been wanting to show you.  So I found a favorite old but not that old movie on TV, Moonstruck, and started to get to work.

The room I was sitting in has a Southern exposure; it gets lots of sun.  I was making progress on my embroidery and enjoying the movie, when I started to smell … smoked salmon.  I thought that was odd.  I didn’t have any smoked salmon in the house, so I turned toward the side window to see if my neighbors were barbecuing and that’s when I noticed that a large snow globe on the table behind the couch was causing a hole to burn in my daughter’s woven wood knitting basket.  I think the flames were just about to start.  You can see how far the burning got in the photo above.  The worse “what if” to consider was that my cat was with me on the couch when this was happening.  If I hadn’t been there to stop the burning and we’d lost him in a fire I’m not sure I could ever forgive myself.

So please be careful about where you place your snow globes.  Remember that they can have the same effect as a magnifying glass when in the sun, i.e. cause things to burn!  From now on this gentle giant will reside in one of the darker rooms in the house.



    • It was indeed. To turn around and find an actual case of spontaneous combustion right behind my back and realizing “oh yes, that’s exactly what I’m smelling”. I tell you I am one lucky gal and I have learned my lesson!

  1. I had a very similar experience last week (12/8/15) so was glad to see your account which was similar & now I know it’s possible. My day started as usual. I’m retired/live alone & am older (81) & had been wrapping a Xmas gift so went to my pantry to get some stored paper/ribbons & in doing so accidentally pulled down from a high shelf a dining chair (placed there upside down) on my head with quite a ‘clunk’….pulled the emergency cord & ended up in the ER for several hrs(4)…..after
    an X-ray it was determined I could go back home. The local ambulance brought me down the long 1st floor hall & with my
    door keys in his hands the man opened my door & said quiet loudly “Oh My God”…..& the door closed. The lady & I were puzzled not knowing what was going on….in about 1or 2minutes he opened the door & told us the old Xmas stocking I had placed on my coffee table beside a very small decorated C. tree was on fire…which he rushed to my kitchen & put out. OK ,so the culprit we found out was a beautiful musical snow globe with a metal dove inside that was on the table right beside the display & old stocking. So what started this …..the sun was coming through my large L.R.window for several hours(while I was in the ER.) & angled at the top of the snow globe. I had never thought that this would be possible….even though we all can probably remember how we could start a fire (if camping etc.) with a magnifying glass holding it over paper….I guess this is what took place with my globe…..and yours. This was a gift to me years ago so I don’t have any info. on the company/store or where it came from but do think consumers need to be aware of this happening when in hot-direct sun-light.

    • So true! You and I were so lucky that we caught it in time. What a day that must have been for you – a clunk on the head and the fire. Thanks for sharing your story. Yes, it really can happen! Take good care –

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