Why You Should Never Leave A Water Bottle In A Hot Car

Firefighters are warning people of the potential hazard.

water bottle dangerous hot car
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A battery technician with the Idaho Power Company was on lunch break when he noticed smoke coming from beneath the center console of his truck. The culprit, he was surprised to learn, was a bottle of water. "I looked over and noticed light was being refracted through a water bottle and starting to catch the seat on fire," said Dioni Amuchastegui in a video shared to the company's Facebook page. (opens in new tab)

The evidence shows how dangerous leaving a plastic bottle (opens in new tab) in one's car on a sunny day can be—two burn marks were left on the seat of Dioni's vehicle. And now we're approaching the summer months, this is something you should keep in mind.

Firefighters are warning drivers about the hazard, too (opens in new tab). In a test conducted by Oklahoma's Midwest City Fire Department, sunlight magnified by a water bottle reached 250 degrees, news channel KFOR reports (opens in new tab). "The sunlight will come through, when it's filled with liquid, and act as a magnifying glass as you would with regular optics," said MCFD's David Richardson.

Sky, Backlighting, Water, Photography, Cloud, Flash photography, Lens flare, Street light,

(Image credit: Archives)

"It uses the liquid and the clear material to develop a focused beam and sure enough, it can actually cause a fire (opens in new tab), a combustion," Richardson explained.

The risk of such a disaster occurring is low, but officials say taking your water bottle with you when leaving the car is the best way to prevent this type of car fire.

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