As our weather begins to warm up over the next few weeks, more and more of us will probably be turning to water bottles to help us stay hydrated on those hot days.

But leaving one of those clear water bottles behind in your car may lead to a big problem that you may have never considered.

Men's Health is warning its readers about how unattended water bottles left in vehicles on hot sunny days could contribute to car fires.

How you ask?

Live Science talked with Odile Madden, a materials scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles, and he said, "The water bottle is acting like a lens that's focusing the light coming through the window. (Like eyeglasses) You can use that to see something better, get it in focus. Or, you can focus a lot of light onto a very small point and concentrate all that energy, and that can cause melting and burning,"

It's a serious enough issue that even some fire departments are issuing warnings:

Most experts agree that light passing thru a water bottle probably isn't strong enough to start your upholstery or dashboard on fire, but if the light hits a more flammable material like paper you could see the potential for flames.

If you insist on having a water bottle in your car, just make sure the container isn't clear and you should eliminate the danger.


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