Video: How a plastic water bottle can burn your car

Carrying a water bottle with you, in your car, during the hot and sultry summer months is advisable and has become a necessity. However, if proper precaution is not taken, the same can turn into a big fire hazard.

By: | Published: April 23, 2019 1:10 PM

When driving in a car during the peak summer months, it is advisable to keep a bottle of water alongside you. If stuck in traffic, the same is going to help you quench your thirst and hence keep you hydrated. That said, though it is quite important to keep a water bottle in your car, at the same time, it is equally important not to leave one behind in it during a hot summer day. Why do we say that? Well, failing to do so could result in a big fire hazard! How? We explain.

Remember as a child when we used to play with a magnifying glass, trying to focus the sun rays falling on it on a piece of paper? What used to happen after that? Well, if the rays of the sun were left concentrated long enough, the said piece of paper started to burn at the particular point where the rays where being concentrated.

The combination of water in a plastic bottle acts a magnifying and focuses the light falling on it, through the car's window, on the seat fabric or the upholstery of the vehicle. This focused beam of light, magnified with the help of the water bottle could reach temperatures of up to 250 degrees. This is intense enough to burn the seat-fabric or the upholstery on which the same is falling upon.

A truck, belonging to a battery technician working for the Idaho Power Company in the United State of America, could have been burned to the ground if its owner has not observed smoke emitting from his truck's seat in time. "I looked over and noticed the light was being refracted through a water bottle and starting to catch the seat on fire," he said in a video which he posted on the company's Facebook page.

So, what precautions can you take to avoid the said fire hazard? Well, for starters try not to leave plastic water bottles in your vehicle on a hot summer day. And if you really have to, put them in such a place where they are not exposed to direct sunlight. Furthermore, you can ditch carrying plastic water bottles altogether and start using other alternatives for the same.

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