Have you ever left a plastic water bottle in the car on a hot day? Many of us do it all the time without thinking twice about it.
But as it turns out, it is more dangerous than most of us have ever imagined — and certainly worth giving a second thought.
In early July, 2017, Power company Idaho Power, serving Oregon and Idaho, USA, published a video on their Facebook page, warning everyone about the dangers of leaving plastic bottles in cars on hot days.
In the video, technician Dioni Amuchastegui describes what can happen if we leave an empty plastic bottle in our car for too long on a hot day.
It might sound hard to believe — but it can actually start a fire.
As a matter of fact, it almost happened to Dioni himself.
"I was taking an early lunch sitting in the truck," Dioni says in the video. "Happened to notice some smoke out of the corner of my eye, looked over and noticed that light was being refracted through a water bottle and was starting to catch the seat on fire."
A round plastic bottle filled with clear water can act as a lens that concentrates the sun's energy on one point, which can then create immense heat where the ray of sun is directed. If it's exceptionally sunny and hot that day, this obviously triggers it even more.
"We tested it again and [measured] the heat and (...) it was extremely hot," Dioni continues. "It was hot enough to start a burning a hole through the heat. Not something you really expect — having a water bottle catch your chair on fire."
We are all aware of how important it is to stay hydrated during hot days, so by all means don’t stop carrying water bottles around. But you might want to follow the advice of the people at Idaho Power and remember to take the bottle out of the car with you.
"Everbody carries water bottles," another Idaho Power technician, Richard McKinnies, says in the video, adding that the most important thing is to just keep it out of the sun.
To learn more, watch the video below:
This really came as a surprise to us! Who would have thought leaving a water bottle in your car could start a fire? We're happy we are more informed now.
Please consider sharing this important information to warn others of this potential danger!