Luckily, Dioni was there at the time and able to move the bottle before things got any worse. Still, however, the passenger seat was left with 2 burn marks, a testament to what could have occurred.
In the video, Dioni explains, “I was a little bit surprised. I actually had to do a double take and check it again. And sure enough, it was super hot. I even stuck my hand under the light. It was hard to believe at first […] Not something you’d really expect.”
Science Focus explains, “The sun’s rays bathe the Earth in a constant flow of thermal energy spread over square meter. While this is too dilute to ignite paper, wood, or other combustible substances, if the rays are focused, the flow of energy becomes concentrated enough to exceed the threshold for combustion.”
And it’s not just un-discarded water bottles that can be a trigger either— Science Focus says that the London Fire Brigade reported 125 sun-triggered fires between 2010 and 2015.
They say, “Fishbowls, jam-jars, and even glass door knobs have been implicated in focusing the sun’s rays sufficiently to cause smoldering, followed by a full-scale blaze.”
Since being posted on Facebook, Dioni’s warning has been viewed by over 125,000 people and shared over 1,300 times.
While the safest course of action is to immediately discard all un-emptied plastic bottles from vehicles, if they absolutely must be near, make sure to keep them out of direct sunlight.
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