Show of hands...How many remember in school the experiment of using a magnifying glass with the sunlight going through it onto a sheet of paper to try to burn the paper? Me too. Turns out, something we keep in our cars could do the same thing, a water bottle. It doesn't have to be hot outside, either, for that bottle to possibly do some damage to your vehicle or worse.

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Firefighter David Richardson of the Midwest City Fire Department in Oklahoma talked with KFOR and said,

The sunlight will come through, when it’s filled with liquid, and act as a magnifying glass as you would with regular optics. It uses the liquid and the clear material to develop a focused beam and sure enough, it can actually cause a fire, a combustion.

This demonstration was done by the Midwest City Fire Department to prove the above statement.

Something else to watch out for is hand sanitizer. While many of us have made it a habit to carry some around while we're running errands, leaving that small bottle in direct sunlight in your car could also become a fire danger. Not only could the sanitizing gel magnify the sunlight that could possibly start a fire, the alcohol used in certain hand sanitizers could release a vapor that could ignite if heated up.

What can we take away from this?

It doesn't have to be hot for sunlight to be magnified by a water bottle or bottle of hand sanitizer. If you're running errands and have that bottle of water or bottle of soda or hand sanitizer in the cup holder or on the seat, make sure its not in direct sunlight. If they are, either cover them, place them in the glove box or put them somewhere where direct light won't touch them. When you get home, take those items out of the vehicle to be thrown away or properly stored inside.

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