For some people, having a car is considered a luxury while others treat it as a necessity. Regardless of your perspective, a car is meant for transportation and though you can store some of your items inside, treating your car as a portable storage container isn’t the best idea. That being said, here are the 10 Things You Should Never Leave In Your Car.
1) Water Bottles
Sure, it comes in handy to have a bottle of mineral water in the car. Who knows, you might need it when you are thirsty on the road. Unfortunately, keeping water bottles in the car for too long can pose a health risk. This includes serious conditions like cancer and heart disease and the reason behind it is BPA. It’s a type of chemical substance that can leach into the water, particularly for the bottle made from plastic material. As such, it’s best to avoid drinking it for your safety.
2) Hand Sanitisers
Given the seemingly neverending COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitisers have since become a necessary part of our lives. It’s a common sight to see many people carrying a hand sanitiser wherever they go. This also includes leaving a bottle in the car but is it actually safe to do so? A hand sanitiser typically contains alcohol, which is considered by many as a flammable product. According to WebMD, it’s safe to leave in the car and won’t cause an explosion. But there’s a catch, though: Leaving a bottle of hand sanitiser in the car can render it ineffective. This is especially true if you leave it exposed to heat and sunlight, causing the alcohol content to suffer from evaporation. The evaporation, in turn, can cause the initial percentage of alcohol to dwindle, making the hand sanitiser less effective when you apply it on your hands.
Leaving a pair of sunglasses on the dashboard for too long, particularly during a hot day, is generally a bad idea. The heat on both the dashboard and windshield can cause the sunglasses too hot to be put on. Then, there’s the worst-case scenario: Heat from the direct sunlight can also warp the plastic frames of your sunglasses. To avoid this from happening, always remember to store your sunglasses in the dashboard compartment.
4) Aerosol Cans
Hot cars + aerosol cans are especially a no-no. A recipe for disaster waiting to happen. If left exposed to direct sunlight, it can cause the temperature in the can to rise. Not to mention the pressure may expand, which in turn, can cause a possible explosion if they reach a certain hazardous level of temperature. Which is why it’s best not to leave the likes of mosquito sprays, spray paints, deodorants or even disinfectants in the car, especially for prolonged periods.
Stashing your medications in the car sure sounds like a convenient thing to do. But did you know that leaving them in the car for prolonged periods can cause your medication to lose its effectiveness and potency? Blame it on the heat and this is especially true if you leave your medication in the car on a sunny day. After all, most medications are generally best kept at room temperature and hot cars obviously aren’t room temperature.
Those lighters that you are carrying around? It may look small but the fact that it contains flammable liquid makes it potentially dangerous. That is, of course, if you leave your lighter in your car on a hot day. The eventual heat in the car can cause the flammable liquid inside the lighter to suffer from leakage. And the next thing you know, the lighter may end up as a fire hazard and cause accidents.
If you are out for grocery shopping, it is normal to store those bags of food and other items in the boot of your car. But here’s the thing that you should take note: Food, especially the perishable ones needed to be refrigerated like raw meats, vegetables and fruits, can cause potential growth of germs and bacteria. This is particularly evident if you keep them in the car for too long. Always remember to store perishable food in the fridge within two hours after purchasing them from the supermarket.
8) Personal Belongings
By personal belongings, we mean valuable items like wallets, handbags, laptops or even important documents. As obvious as it may sound, it is still worth noting that leaving them in the car unattended can encourage a possible theft.
If you think that leaving a pet alone in a parked car while you are, say doing some shopping, a possible tragedy might happen. For instance, pets like dogs can suffer from heatstroke and even potentially kill them in just 15 minutes, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
No doubt this should be common sense. But you’ll be surprised that there are still news about parents leaving their kids all alone and unattended in the car. Case in point: Earlier this year alone on February, a 9-month-old girl from Kuantan died of heatstroke after the victim’s father accidentally left her in the car for approximately four hours.