Here is one science experiment that you definitely shouldn't try at home, never mind the middle of rush hour. Ever.
Just in case that stank in your car could use some freshening up, and you were wondering how much air freshener you should (or should not) use in a car, someone in Halifax, Canada, figured it out for you. Nobody knows exactly how much aerosol air freshener this driver used. What Halifax police do know is that it was enough to blow up his car after he sprayed and sprayed and sprayed…and then lit up a cigarette while waiting for the rush-hour traffic to move.
It was enough drama to tweet about.
Oh, and to post on Facebook.
It’s not every day you see a police alert that says “road closure due to aerosol can discharge”. One commenter on this post actually called it an “almighty boom” and said that watching this wreck was like watching shattered window glass rain down from out of nowhere. If this doesn't qualify as one of the worst ideas of 2019 along with the Cats movie, it's hard to decide what does.
The guy who contradicted himself by lighting up a smoke after fumigating his car with air freshener was putting some risky science to work. When you flick on a lighter, you’re actually causing a handheld chemical reaction between potassium, chlorine, phosphorus and sulfur. Aerosol canisters (that’s without being sprayed) should never be left in a hot car or anywhere near an open flame. Chemical compositions of air freshener can vary, but it should be common sense that you don’t put fire near anything made of volatiles and semi-volatiles that vaporize really fast. The point is that you do not want to set off another reaction between that flame and chemical clouds.
Never mind that lighting a spark in chemical fumes is definitely a terrible decision, but it’s an even worse decision when the car isn’t ventilated, as the police noted in their Facebook post. The explosion was intense enough to — get this — not just blow out his windshield but give a nearby business window damage.
How the owner of the car only got away with minor injuries is a holiday miracle.