Leaving a Water Bottle in a Car Under the Sun Could Cause a Fire

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A show of hands: how many of you treat the backseat of your car like a rubbish bin?

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And another show of hand: how many of you leave mineral water bottles in your car?

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So many? Then you might want to stop reading this and head to your car now. It could be burning.

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This, unfortunately, isn’t nonsense.

That innocent water bottle in your car could be a fire hazard, especially in Singapore when it’s always summer.

Car Can Get Super Hot Under the Sun

For people who don’t drive, or for people who’s got cars that are so high-tech that it’d turn on the air-con minutes before you enter it, you might not know this:

The interior of a car, when parked under the sun for hours, would be so hot that the steering wheel would sometimes be too hot to handle.

Drivers would often have to wait a while for the interior or the car to cool down before driving off. This is even worse if you’ve a black car, since it traps heat.

It’s therefore not recommended to leave any electrical devices, like your laptop or smartphone, in the car.

But mineral water bottle? What’s the risk?

Would it burn or would it melt?

Apparently not.

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It’s nothing to do with the heat by the sun, but everything to do with the sun.

Mineral Water Bottle Concentrate Sun’s Rays

If you’ve paid attention during your science lessons when you were in secondary school, you would know that using a magnifying glass to direct the sun’s ray towards a constant area would burn the area.

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The same logic applies here.

You see, a clear mineral water bottle filled with clear water can act as a magnifying glass should a sun’s ray is on it. And if the ray is directed at the seat, which most probably is combustible, the seat would catch fire and you can say goodbye to your car.

This sounds like a theory but someone’s shown how possible it is:

And remember, this is done in the US, whereby there are four seasons. Imagine how serious this issue is in Singapore…but wait.

Hasn’t Happened in Singapore Yet

After ten-hour intense research (i.e. Googling), we couldn’t find a single case of water bottle causing a fire in Singapore.

Does it mean it’s #fakenews?

Or that somehow, it can’t happen?

Well, the theory states it’s possible, and so why take the risk?

And anyways, you’re not supposed to drink the water in the bottle if it’s exposed to the hot sun for so long, as the plastic could release some compound, or that bacteria could have bred under the hot sun.

So do yourself and your car a favour: just keep it bottle-free.

Heck, please keep it rubbish-free as well. Using that as an excuse not to fetch your colleague to the nearest MRT station is lame.