5 Things You Should Not Leave in Your Car
Reading time: 3 mins
Seeing that you may still be working from home and hardly commuting to work, there could be a good chance that you may have some items in your car that shouldn’t be left there. Before strict COVID measures, you probably had your car stocked with all the necessary items you needed – water, sunscreen, mobile chargers perhaps – sounds familiar?
Although having those items on hand is convenient, storing them in the car for long periods of time is not such a good idea. Some items, like alcohol-based products, such as your hand sanitiser can evaporate and release fumes. And in extreme cases, electronics left in the car too long can blow up in the heat seeing that the weather in Singapore is hot throughout the year.
So, no matter how careful you are, or whether you have car insurance, it’s good to always keep your car neat and clean. Remove, or carefully store all items that pose a risk to your health and safety, every time you get out of the car.
To make it easy, we’ve compiled a list of items that you should never, ever keep in the car for long.
Any medication, whether in pill form or liquid, should never be left in the car throughout the day. Most medicines should be stored at room temperature, while some need to be kept in the refrigerator. Whereas the temperature of your car can get quite hot during the day.
Although heat may not make your drugs directly harmful, it could make them less effective. So, leaving them in your car’s cabin that’s as hot as an oven in the daytime heat, is a bad idea.
2. Plastic Water Bottles
Some studies online have linked BPA and phthalates – chemicals found in plastic water bottles – with health conditions like cancer and heart disease. Letting your water bottle sit in the sun can heat it up and cause these chemicals to leach into the water stored inside. Plus, if the bottle has been lying around for a while, it could start harbouring bacteria.
And what’s more, a video from Idaho Power (an electricity provider in the US), shows a clear plastic bottle of water magnifying the sun’s rays, and lighting the car seat on fire!
No doubt, putting on sunscreen to protect your exposed skin while driving is important. But, did you know that the active ingredients in sunscreen breaks down in high heat? Leaving it in the car on a hot and humid day can quickly break down many of the active ingredients that block UV rays.
In other words, leaving your sunscreen in your car can make it less effective. Plus, the heat could cause the tube to explode, leaving you with a hot mess to clean.
4. Alcohol-based Products
We all know alcohol evaporates in heat. So, keeping any alcohol-based products like your hand sanitiser in the car is not the best idea either. Besides that, you should not keep any aerosol products like deodorising spray in your car as well. In extreme temperatures, these cans can expand and explode, and their contents are highly flammable.
Remember that storing it within your car’s glove compartment or other additional storage for long periods of time is not the best solution. Although it may not be exposed to direct sunlight, these compartments get hot overtime. So, whether left near the window, windscreen or within the cabin of your car, leaving anything flammable in your vehicle is dangerous.
Never risk leaving your electronics – like your mobile device, tablet and laptop – in a hot car. Exposure to heat can cause damage to your devices or worse, it could blow up!
Of course, leaving your devices unattended in your vehicle is also an invitation for theft. Besides the possibility of your car getting broken into and your devices stolen, you risk losing all your important data as well. So, never leave any electronics – or important documents for that matter – in your vehicle.
Always Clear Out Your Car
You may have already been aware of the dangers of leaving these items in your car. But, are you guilty of forgetting about them or thinking it’s ok to keep them in your car if it’s parked under the shade? Singapore’s sunny weather can be unforgiving sometimes, so even if your car is tinted and covered, the cabin can still contain heat, just like an oven.
To avoid foul smells, mess and unwanted blow-ups, you should practice clearing out your car of these items every time you get out. Most of these items can go into your carry-on bag or consider putting them into a small storage box with cooling lining that you can tuck away under the car seat. Nonetheless, remember that it’s best not to leave these 5 items in your car for a prolonged period of time.