The long Texas summer is heating up. Bright sunshine and heat can do a number on people who work outside.  It can also do a number on your car.

Most of us know we should never leave a living thing in a hot car in the summer. Many of us don't know that there are many other things we should never leave in a hot car.


Earlier this year, sunglasses left in a car in England caused a fire that destroyed a motor vehicle.

Photo: Nottingham England Fire Rescue
Photo: Nottingham England Fire Rescue

In that case, the investigation determined that prescription sunglasses left in direct sunlight on the dashboard of a van managed to focus the sunlight, much like a magnifying glass causing the total loss of the vehicle.

Plastic Water Bottles:

There is a lot of debate about this one. First, drinking water from any plastic water bottle left in the hot sun in a car in the summer is unsafe.   As explained by, when a plastic water bottle is left in a car, 'the chemical-bonded molecules begin to break down when heated, allowing chemicals in the plastic to leach into the water.

There is little debate about that.  There is a bit of debate about the feasibility of plastic water bottles causing a fire if left in a hot vehicle.

According to The Weather, when the heat, sun, and the bottle lines up just right, it can cause a small fire. A video from Idaho Power on YouTube showed how it can happen.

Flammable Liquids: 

It should go without saying, but gasoline, lighter fluid, propane, or other flammable liquids should not be left in a hot car. It SHOULD go without saying, but there are warning labels on iPod shuffles advising against consuming an electronic device.  They're not even tasty with ketchup or salsa.

Pressurized Containers:

Aerosol cans like spray paint, hairspray, or deodorants can burst into flames if left in hot cars.


If you go to Walmart and buy some cleaning supplies or chemicals used for gardening or automotive maintenance, don't get lazy and leave them in the hot car. They can ignite.


Lithium-ion batteries found in smartphones, laptops, cameras or power banks can overheat and burst into flames if exposed to temperatures over 120 Fahrenheit. The interior temperatures of vehicles left in the hot Texas summer sun can reach 140.

Firearms, Ammunition, Fireworks:

Boom.  Seriously, heat can cause any of these to blow up.

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

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