Jillian Janusz (@jillybean808) gained over 4.4 million views, 377,000 likes, 10,000 saves, 12,000 shares and 2,800 comments when she uploaded the warning to her account.
We’ve seen PSAs go viral on the app before — like the woman who claimed raw chia seeds in her oatmeal “grew” in her stomach, wreaking havoc on her digestive system — but Janusz’s warning could save TikTokers from similar fates, especially in the hot summer months.
According to Janusz, the mystery began when she noticed two pieces of paper on her middle console, which she thought was “weird” but ultimately dismissed.
But as she drove, she noticed blue plastic flecks on her dashboard. Soon after, she realized her sunglasses holder was broken and a huge piece was missing from it.
That’s when she looked in the back seat and spotted the top of her blue lighter. She then started finding more blue pieces sprinkled all around her car.
“I had a lighter in there and it f***ing blew up and completely annihilated my sunglass case,” she says in the video — captioned “You never know when a lighter might randomly self destruct.”
Why do lighters explode in hot cars?
“Lighters may be tiny, but they can pack a punch when overheated. The flammable fuel inside these little plastic tubes can expand and breach the lighter casing when exposed to high heat, creating a fire hazard,” reports Geico.
Other things you should never leave in cars
According to Geico, lighters aren’t the only things that shouldn’t be left behind in hot cars. It warns drivers not to leave the following items inside their vehicles:
Aerosol cans: “Pressurized cans are particularly sensitive; outside of that temperature zone, the contents may expand, which could cause the can to crack or explode.”
Sunscreen: “Exposing sunscreen to high temperatures can shorten its shelf life, says the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Besides losing efficacy, your protective SPFs may end up a big smelly mess, if the heat blows the cap open.”
Plastic bottles: “In a much-shared video from Idaho Power, a clear plastic bottle of water a clear plastic bottle of water magnifies the sun’s rays and starts to light a car seat on fire. But the greater risk may come from bisphenol A (BPA), a potentially harmful compound found in most clear plastics. The FDA maintains that BPA is safe at current levels of exposure in foods. However, studies have shown an increased release of BPA from plastics at higher temperature, so don’t take the chance of adding more of this chemical to your beverage.”
Batteries: “Battery manufacturers recommend against leaving their products in high temperatures, which can lead not only to a loss of capacity, but also to leakage or rupture as well. And that can be bad news for your health and your car’s interior, as battery acid is dangerous when inhaled and highly corrosive.”
Electronics: “Many phone manufacturers list optimal temperature windows and specifically warn against leaving your device in your car, where it might shut down or start to suffer damage.”
‘This was my sign to stop leaving lighters in my car…’
Nearly 3,000 TikTokers shared their reactions to Janusz’s PSA in the comments.
“😐 Me watching this with 3 lighters sitting in my center console currently 😳” wrote @biancawise2.
“You just solved my month old mystery of all the broken pieces that were in my car lol,” commented @yomomma082680.
“Omg I have on in my glove box. Running to get it now!” wrote @ktdeharo.
“This happened to me last week in my car. had no idea what it was at first!!” commented @brenmadison17.
“This was my sign to stop leaving lighters in my car thanks,” wrote @ali_somerhalder.
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