Dioni Amuchastegui was taking a lunch break inside of his work truck when he realized something was burning the seat.
According to a Facebook video posted by Idaho Power, the technician looked down at the smoke rising from the seat next to him. He noticed a water bottle was refracting sunlight and burning a hole.Screenshot/Idaho Power
Amuchastegui said in the video:
“[I] noticed that light was being refracted through a water bottle and was starting to catch the seat on fire … Light was just shining through the driver’s side window and shone right through [the water bottle] and burned those two spots in the seat right there.”
He took the temperature of the seat with his hand and was surprised by how hot it was around the burn site. Since many people leave water bottles in their cars, he wanted to warn other people about the dangers of water bottles causing fires:
“I was a little bit surprised, I actually had to do a double take.”
The fire hazard might be a surprise to some, but survivalists have been using water bottles to start fires for years. In 2012, Grant Thompson, a YouTuber known for making DIY videos, noted that it only takes a few seconds for the water bottles to start burning a hole in paper.
By adding air, the flame can ignite rather quickly:
If a water bottle is left in the car, the safest place to leave it is away from direct sunlight.
However, according to WUSA, water bottles left in hot cars aren’t recommended for drinking, either. The heat from the car can cause bacteria to grow in open bottles.
Additionally, FDA officials told Food Safety Magazine that it’s unlikely plastic water bottles left in hot cars will have trace amounts of harmful chemicals in the water, but there is a slim possibility of contamination.
As previously reported by Independent Journal Review, there are a handful of other items that shouldn’t be left in hot cars, as they could create potential fire hazards, including:
- aerosol cans
- soda cans
- cigarette lighters
Aerosol cans and lighters can explode under pressure. Medications can change chemical properties.
The next time you’re locking the car door, be sure to collect any water bottles, Coke cans, hairspray bottles, and medications, and take them with you.
Watch the full video below: