Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer Survival - Vehicle Heat Hazards

Studies have shown that even on relatively cool days when temperatures are in the mid 70’s that a vehicle’s internal temperature will jump to very dangerous levels in less than an hour. While keeping the windows cracked a small amount may help prevent your windows from shattering due to the heat, it does very little to prevent or slow the rise of temperatures inside the vehicle.

Heat during the summer is a very real hazard when you are outdoors in the summertime. Inside a vehicle, it quickly becomes a suffocating heat that can be a killer. There is also an explosive hazard for some common items that people routinely carry in their vehicles during the summer.

There are a number of things that should NEVER be left in a vehicle during the heat of summer.

First, NEVER leave children in a vehicle during the summer heat. This can have tragic and devastating results which can result in the death of a child.

Secondly, NEVER leave your pets in a vehicle during the summer heat. Your pet may not survive the ordeal.

Third, NEVER leave lighters laying on the dash or console as they become an explosive hazard when subjected to extreme heat.

Fourth, NEVER leave small or large propane containers in a vehicle during the summer heat. Otherwise you may end up with an early Fourth of July celebration you may not want!

Fifth, NEVER leave any type of pressurized aerosol container in a vehicle during the summer heat.

Everyone should realize that the heat of summer can have deadly effects no matter where you may be. At home, outdoors or in your vehicle, there are numerous hazards due to the heat of summer that can be avoided with a little common sense.

You can read some of the studies that have been conducted here:

Special Note: As a case for illustrating my point, a co-worker and friend recently left a lighter on the console of his vehicle. It was in the shade. The windows were down slightly. The lighter exploded and took out the front windshield as good as any shotgun! It left a very LARGE hole in the windshield.

Staying above the water line!



matthiasj said...

Wow blew a hole in the windshield? I'll make sure I keep my lighter in my pocket!

Kentucky Preppers Network

Mayberry said...

Awwwww, you act like it's been hot or something! Ha ha.... Timely advice RW! said...

I've heard tell bottles of water left in a car can focus sunlight enough to melt holes in vinyl. There is also a myth that it can actually start a fire in the car, but I have also read a study where the testers could not replicate this.

riverwalker said...

To: matthiasj

It left a big hole up near the right hand corner of the windshield. Iasked if he had ever read the warnibg label on the lighter that stated the lighter should never be exposed to temperatures in excess of 120 degrees or left in areas with prolonged sunlight. He said he's never read the warning label. I told him he probably could've saved himself a windshield if he had.


riverwalker said...

To: Mayberry

Those "cool" sea breezes in your area get pretty warm by the time they reach my place!LOL


riverwalker said...


I've heard of items (mostly metal...pins,paper clips, etc.) getting hot enough to melt the vinyl but not enough to catch on fire ( I think the flash point of vinyl is probably in excess of 400 degrees which would be an actual fire).


Anonymous said...

Aside from aerosol can's and lighter's,never EVER leave a propane tank in the trunk,unless it's only a few minute's.They have a built in over pressure valve that make's them "vent" when hot.If you pick it up in the morning,leave it in all day,it will vent off and fill the car with fume's.When we had the RV dealership,we got at least 3 call's a week about this.
Dean in Az

riverwalker said...

To: Dean

I mentioned the propane tanks. The small ones do not have a venting mechanism like the larger tanks. The fumes can be dangerous as well. Thanks for bringing that up.


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