Water Bottles in Hot Cars Could Start Fires
With the intense heat that's sweeping across a lot of cities in the U.S., people are wise to stay hydrated. But, a new observation shows that drivers should think twice before they leave plastic water bottles in their cars out in the heat.
Think of it this way: The plastic water bottle acts like a magnifying glass for the sun. When it's placed on flammable upholstery, it creates the risk of a fire.
Employees from Idaho Power told WCPO Cincinnati that one of their battery station technicians saw it firsthand.
"I was taking an early lunch and sitting in my truck," the employee, Dioni Amuchastegui, said. "[I] happened to notice some smoke out of the corner of my eye. I looked over and noticed that light was being refracted through a water bottle and was starting to catch the seat on fire."
The company posted a video on its Facebook page demonstrating how the water bottle was sitting on the driver's leather seat, and left a visible scorch mark on the seat.
"I was a little bit surprised," Amuchastegui said in the video. "I actually had to do a double-take and checked it again. Sure enough, yeah, it was super-hot."
After using a non-contact thermometer, they found that the refracted light hit 213 degrees.
This is a good cautionary tale for promotional products professionals who might be selling single-use water bottles for companies to use at outdoor events. If your clients plan to use the promotional items for a purpose involving cars, be sure to alert them of this hazard. It could save a life.