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Officials demonstrate, warn in video how leaving bottled water in hot car could start fire

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Fire officials are warning people during this weekend’s heatwave to not leave water bottles in a car.

On a hot, summer day – like we’re experiencing right now – a full plastic bottle of water can act like a lens, focusing light into a high-energy beam that’s intense enough to start a fire. Much like holding a magnifying glass on a sunny day can start a fire, the filled bottle of water does the same thing..

Several fire departments are sharing videos demonstrating how the bottles can start the fire.

But it doesn’t have to be just in a car to start a fire. The Midwest City, Oklahoma, Fire Department held a bottle of water in front a piece of paper and, sure enough, it burned a hole straight through the paper.

If you’re driving, no need to worry about that water on the seat next to you. The Midwest City Fire Department said, because you’re going under bridges and passing buildings and the sun is moving, the sunlight’s energy is not in direct contact with the bottle.

If you have to leave bottled water in your car, officials suggest leaving them in the trunk, which would keep them out of direct sunlight.

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