California, at least in the Central Valley and So Cal, is experiencing a very intense heatwave combined with drought, wildfires, and rolling blackouts. As hot as it gets outside (up to 110 degrees), it’s helpful to remember that the temperature inside cars can reach nearly 200 degrees, enough to bake/cook food products. Pressurized containers (such as a can of air freshener, or propane containers) can also explode dangerously. Sensitive materials, such as those in some sunglasses can also melt or suffer damage. As seen in the featured image, a certain heat shield got melted, likely due to poor quality materials.
Other than protecting your car and items inside of it, there’s more we can do. Rolling blackouts are a pain, but they can be prevented or minimized if we do our part to use conserve energy usage from 4-9 (which happens to be the hottest part of the day and also incurs higher PG&E rates). This is so important that a company is actually paying people to use less energy, and offering free smart devices (which they can control to conserve enegry in your own home). Air Conditioning units are easily the most power hungry devices in homes, using multiple kilowatts of power when running.
A good way to use the AC less often is to simply hang out somewhere else, like a Starbucks, a mall area, or community centers, which often serve as a free “cooling center”. Fresno has its own, as does Los Angeles and various other Californian cities, so be sure to check if your city has them.