Power company warns: Why you should never leave a water bottle in your car on a hot day

On a hot day, have you ever forgotten a plastic water bottle in your vehicle? Many of us often engage in it without giving it a second thought.

However, it turns out to be riskier than the majority of us ever believed, making it worthwhile to give it some attention.



Early in July 2017, the US power provider Idaho Power, which provides service to Oregon and Idaho, posted a video on their Facebook page alerting people about the risks of leaving plastic bottles in hot automobiles.
Dioni Amuchastegui, a mechanic, explains in the video what might happen if we keep an empty plastic bottle in our car for an extended period of time on a hot day.

It might be difficult to believe, but it really can ignite a fire.

In actuality, Dioni himself came dangerously close to experiencing it.



In the video, Dioni states, “I was eating an early lunch sitting in the vehicle.” Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted some smoke. I turned over and saw that light was refracting through a water bottle and was beginning to ignite the seat.
Clear water in a spherical plastic bottle may serve as a lens to focus the sun’s energy on a single point, which can then produce a tremendous amount of heat where the sun’s ray is focused. It clearly causes it more if the day is really bright and hot.

Dioni says, “We tried it again and [measured] the heat and (…) it was incredibly hot. “Through the heat, it was hot enough to start a burning hole. Having your chair catch fire from a water bottle is not something you really expect.
Don’t stop bringing water bottles about; we’re all aware how crucial it is to remain hydrated on hot days. However, you might want to remember to take the bottle out of the car with you, as advised by the Idaho Power staff.

Everyone brings water bottles, says Richard McKinnies, an additional Idaho Power technician, who adds that the most crucial thing is to just keep it out of the sun.



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