Long gone are the days when hand sanitizers were hard to come by. Now, it seems like there’s a surplus of them on the market. You probably keep a bottle in your car or carry one in your purse. If you spend a lot of time thinking about fire safety, you might have found yourself wondering: are hand sanitizers flammable? Today, we’d like to address the flammability of hand sanitizers, and whether or not they pose a fire risk.
Yes, Hand Sanitizers are Flammable
Let’s start off with the short answer: yes, hand sanitizers are flammable. A majority of commercial hand sanitizers contain ethyl alcohol as a primary ingredient, and all alcohol is flammable. It isn’t just flammable in its liquid form, either. Ethyl alcohol can evaporate at room temperature, turning into a flammable vapor.
But plenty of objects we use in our everyday lives are flammable, and that doesn’t necessarily make them dangerous. A few examples include nail polish, ping pong balls, and even orange peels. So how careful do we need to be with hand sanitizers?
How Big is the Fire Risk?
Hand sanitizers may be flammable, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a huge fire risk. Still, you ought to use caution with it just as you would with any other flammable substance.
But you don’t have to worry too much. You may have seen photos floating around the internet purporting to show the aftermath of a hand sanitizer bottle that burst into flames in a hot car. These photographs are sensational, and you shouldn’t believe them. The inside of a car would have to reach 572 degrees for that to happen. The summers in Maryland may be brutal, but your car will never get anywhere near that hot.
Still, the CDC does officially urge healthcare workers to use their fire safety best practices when dealing with hand sanitizers. Really, this is more of a concern when storing large amounts of the liquid and less of an issue your average Joe has to worry about.
If you do have large quantities of hand sanitizer stores in your home, then you should treat is as you would any other flammable substance. Store it in a cool, well-ventilated area with access to a fire extinguisher. Keep it well away from anything that could possibly ignite, and then you can put it out of mind.
Commercial and Residential Fire Prevention from Judd Fire Protection
If you want to ensure your home and business are safe throughout the year, trust Judd Fire Protection, LLC. We have over two decades of experience designing, installing, inspecting, and repairing residential and commercial fire protection systems. We serve clients throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and protecting your home and business, give us a call at 410-871-3480 or contact us online. For more fire safety tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.