Most people would agree that plastic water bottles are incredibly convenient, especially when running out of your house in the morning. What could be an easier method of staying hydrated than grabbing a cold, crispy bottle of refreshing water out of your fridge before going about your daily activities? Not only are plastic water bottles portable and convenient, but also easy to dispose. While I do my best to recycle and fill a reusable water bottle whenever possible, I often end up with a small water bottle graveyard on the floor on the front-passenger side of my car.
Of course, leaving plastic water bottles in your car will simply create or add to the clutter, but you may be surprised to hear that leaving water bottles in your vehicle could actually threaten your life (Okay, maybe we exaggerated; or did we?). One Idaho man nearly discovered the danger of leaving water bottles in the car for himself. If the conditions are just right, plastic water bottles can cause extensive damage if ignored or neglected.
Why Leaving Plastic Bottles in a Hot Car Is Not a Good Idea
When you were young, maybe you tried using a magnifying glass to set things like paper on fire. Believe it or not, plastic bottles can do the same exact thing. As you might imagine, it can be very frightening to look behind you or get into your car only to see that the floorboard or the backseat is on fire due to a simple water bottle.
Idaho Power released a story with a video on Facebook detailing a terrifying experience had by one of their employees. Since then, then story and video has been viewed and shared thousands of times. Many people reading the story were completely unaware of the dangers of leaving water bottles in vehicles on hot days.
Dioni Amuchastegu is a battery technician who works for Idaho Power. He was taking his lunch break in his work truck when he suddenly noticed smoke. When Dioni looked for the source of a fire, he saw that a water bottle was refracting light from the sun. The light from the sun was so hot and intense that the water bottle and passenger seat caught fire.
The fire left two holes in the front seat of Dioni’s car. According to Idaho Power, a water bottle filled with water or another clear liquid can act as a sort of lens to focus the energy of the sun on one point. Eventually, the energy will create a sufficient amount of heat to spark a fire.
If you anticipate hot weather, be sure to remove plastic bottles from your vehicle. This includes, not just empty water bottles, but also filled water bottles. While the chances might be small, by taking this small step, you won’t have to deal with a seat in your car randomly catching fire.