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Water bottle warning as hot and humid temperatures hit Central NY

Photo: CNYCentral
Photo: CNYCentral
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As hot and humid temperatures hit Central New York once again, first responders have a water bottle warning.

First responders say leaving a plastic bottle of water in a hot car and direct sunlight can start a fire in just a couple of minutes.

Manlius Firefighter Jay Symonds demonstrated what can happen.

“It would need to be a full water bottle, that is filled to the top of the water,” says Symonds.”The water and the plastic create a magniiying effect, and could essentially set upholstery on fire or a piece of plastic on fire.

Symonds used a piece of paper, and angled the bottle so the sun would reflect onto the paper, and eventually burn – just like what could happen in your car.

After several minutes of waiting the ink melted, we got some browning on the backside of the paper, Symonds said.

“It does give truth to the myth that you can set your car on fire with a water bottle that's full."

“The ignition temperatures of those items are about 400 degrees so it would take some time to achieve that and you need low humidity, dry heat, but it is possible that it would start a fire,” Symonds said.

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Firefighters say to store water bottles in a trunk as long as it’s out of direct sunlight or in a cooler.

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