Fire officials have warned against leaving water bottles in vehicles when temperatures are extremely hot, as it could potentially lead to a fire.
Speaking to KFOR-TV, David Richardson from the Midwest Fire Department issued a public warning, saying doing so could be dangerous as water bottles can carry the heat from the sun’s rays.
“The sunlight will come through when it’s filled with liquid, and act as a magnifying glass as you would with regular optics,” David explained.
When this happens, it creates a fire hazard, he said.
“It uses the liquid and the clear material to develop a focused beam and sure enough, it can actually cause a fire, combustion.”
To put this to the test, the Midwest City Fire Department placed a water bottle under sun rays and found the sunlight magnified through the bottle reached temperatures of up to 250 degrees.
The heat could then catch onto other interior materials in the vehicle, such as the mats, seats and other fabrics, which could then lead to a potential fire.
Idaho Power posted a video on Facebook showing just how quickly a fire can start from leaving a water bottle in a heated vehicle.
Dioni Amuchastegui, a power station’s battery technician said he was shocked when he experienced first hand how dangerous it can be.
In the video, he explains how one day he was eating lunch when he noticed “some smoke out of the corner of my eye.”
When he averted his gaze to look at the smoke, he noticed sun rays were being refracted through his water bottle and “was starting to catch the seat on fire.”
In the video, Dioni demonstrates how easy it is for flames to start in the car through the water bottle.
He carefully places the bottle on the seat so sunlight can pass through it. Soon enough, flames flicker on the seat’s fabric.
When he takes the bottle away, two distinct black burn marks are visible—the flames leave a hole in the seat!
The bottle acts as a lens which concentrates the sun’s energy on one point.
“I was a little bit surprised actually I had to do a double take and checked it again and sure enough it was super hot. I even stuck my hand under the light, just hard to believe at first,” Dioni said.
Please stay safe and take the advice above—take all bottles with you when you leave the car!
Watch the video below for more information: