During the hot and humid summer months, it’s important to constantly drink water in order to stay hydrated.
For some car owners, this can result in a mountain of forgotten, half-filled water bottles littering the back seat of their vehicles.
But one power company in Idaho is speaking out about the tragic outcome that can result from leaving plastic water bottles in a hot car over a long period of time.
Idaho Power shared a video on Facebook depicting how a water bottle can potentially start a fire in a car on a sunny summer day.
The harrowing footage has accrued more than 12,000 views and over 300 shares since it was posted on July 13.
Surprisingly, the alarming situation presented in the video isn’t merely theoretical for Idaho Power — it nearly happened to one of its battery technicians, Dioni Amuchastegu.
“So I was taking a bit of an early lunch and sitting in the truck happened to notice some smoke out of the corner of my eye and looked over and noticed that light was being refracted through a water bottle and was starting to catch the seat on fire,” Amuchastegu says in the video.
“Light was just shining through the drivers side window and shone right through (the water bottle) and burned those two spots in the seat right there,” he adds, gesturing to two charred holes in his car’s front seat.
Idaho Power explains that a round plastic water bottle filled with clear liquid can act as a lens that concentrates the sun’s energy at one point, creating enough heat to actually spark flames.
If you’ve ever set fire to an ant hill with a magnifying glass, you know exactly what the company is talking about.
Ultimately, the power plant says that if you do plan to keep water bottles in your car this summer, the best thing you can do is store them out of direct sunlight.