Forget about what the internet says, the city’s fire chief says engineers with the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) Investigations Services have investigated whether hand sanitizer will catch fire if left in a hot vehicle.

Essentially it won’t spontaneously combust.

Fire Chief Jason Whiteley says the report advises that the rate of vapour leakage from a personal container of hand sanitizer left in a hot vehicle would not result in sufficient vapour density to fall within flammable limits in air.

He says If you are keeping hand sanitizer in your car, containers should be kept in an upright position and properly sealed to avoid spillage and containers of hand sanitizers left in a vehicle should be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid leakage from over-pressurization of the container.

Still, Whiteley points out alcohol-based hand sanitizer is flammable and may give off flammable vapours which could ignite if exposed to open flame or an ignition source and caution should be used to keep away from open flames and avoid sources of heat.

He says it is imperative that users read and follow directions and warnings on the labels.

And when using hand sanitizer, hands should be rubbed together until they are completely dry.

Whiteley says people should be especially careful if attempting to smoke, light candles, or use a gas stove immediately after applying hand sanitizer.


(File photo by station staff)

Filed under: covid-19, hand-sanitizer, north-bay-fire-and-emergency-services