Thursday, June 4, 2020

Burning questions about vehicle safety

Two recent vehicle safety reports caught my eye.  I thought they might interest readers as well.

The first concerns water bottles in vehicles.

It turns out that if you keep a plastic bottle of water in your car, you need to be very mindful of where you leave it. Anyone who has watched a survival reality show knows that water in a clear plastic bottle can work in the same way as a magnifying glass, focusing the sun's light onto one spot. That means if the sun hits a bottle in your automobile just the right way, it could actually start a fire in your car.

Idaho Power uploaded a video to show just how it can happen.

... with the right circumstances it is very possible, and if there are papers, clothes or trash in a car, it could ignite, so stay hydrated this summer, but be careful where you leave your bottles.

There's more at the link.

The second concerns hand sanitizer.

The Western Lakes Fire District of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, shared an explosive photograph Thursday as a warning to all you motorists trying to be hyper-vigilant about the coronavirus this summer.

Leave your hand sanitizer in a hot car and your vehicle’s interior could end up a fire scene.

“By its nature, most hand sanitizer is alcohol-based and therefore flammable,” the fire officials wrote on Facebook May 21, alongside a photo of a driver-side door interior that had been mangled and melted by hand sanitizer.

“Keeping it in your car during hot weather, exposing it to sun causing magnification of light through the bottle — and particularly being next to open flame while smoking in vehicles or grilling while enjoying this weekend — can lead to disaster,” they explained.

The first responders, who use their social-media presence to educate their community on common fire hazards, added that clear water bottles also pose an explosion risk. They included a link to the National Fire Protection Association’s YouTube video with more warnings on hand sanitizer combustion.

Again, more at the link.

In our current painfully bright sunlight (yes, it's literally painful without sunglasses) and accompanying hundred-degree-plus temperatures in northern Texas, I'll certainly keep those warnings in mind!



Divemedic said...

The second story that you posted, the one about the hand sanitizer? It was posted a few weeks ago by a volunteer fire department and was making the rounds. The article was a fake, the picture had nothing to do with a hand sanitizer fire, and they were called on it. They admitted to it and had to walk it back.

Divemedic said...

I forgot, here are a few stories on the post:

John Prigent said...

It's not just bottles in vehicles that you need to be careful about. Every year there are reports of house fires caused by clear containers concentrating the sun's rays when left exposed. Even something as small and innocuous aa scent bottle, or a clear lampshade, can do it.

Differ said...

Late afternoon summer sun reflected off my former windows and concentrated by the slight distortions in the glass generates hotspots on the drive; partially melted the side mirror surround on my car!