It’s a life-threatening danger that can cause a car’s interior to catch fire.
Now, firefighters are warning drivers about the potentially devastating consequences of leaving water bottles in your car on hot summer days.
Everyone is probably aware of hot the inside of cars can get in the summer. In fact, a Stanford University study found that on sunny days with highs ranging from 72–96°F (22–35°C), the temperature inside a parked car can reach 112–136°F (44–55°C) within an hour.
Firefighters from Oklahoma’s Midwest City Fire Department conducted a test and found that sunlight magnified through a water bottle reached 250°F (120°C). Water bottle act like a magnifying glass and intensify sunlight enough to burn the interior of a car. The firefighters have therefore issued a warning: don’t leave water bottles in your car or make sure they’re out of direct sunlight!
“The sunlight will come through, when it’s filled with liquid, and act as a magnifying glass as you would with regular optics. It uses the liquid and the clear material to develop a focused beam and sure enough, it can actually cause a fire, a combustion,” firefighter David Richardson told KFOR News.
“Was on fire on the seat”
Another person who is warning of this underreported danger is engineer Dioni Amuchastegui.
“I taking an early lunch and sitting in the truck. Happened to notice some smoke out of the corner of my eye and looked over and noticed that light was being refracted through a water bottle and was starting to catch the seat on fire,” Amuchastegui said.
Fortunately, Amuchastegui discovered what was happening on time. But it could have ended in disaster. His employer, Idaho Power, put out a warning on Facebook.
“Everybody carries water bottles. So if you have one in the cab of the truck, keep it out of the sun,” Richard McKinnies says in the clip, which has been viewed more than half a million times.