Is Hand Sanitizer Flammable?Know more

Hand sanitizers are flammable, as you may have heard. However, what is the extent of their fire hazard? 

To begin with, the quick answer is that hand sanitizers do indeed catch fire. Since ethyl alcohol is flammable, it is a common constituent in most commercial hand sanitizers. It is not limited to being combustible in liquid form. At normal temperature, ethyl alcohol can evaporate and become a flammable vapor.

However, many of the things we use on a daily basis are combustible, but that doesn’t always mean they’re unsafe. Orange peels, ping pong balls, and nail paint are a few examples. In light of this, how cautiously should we use hand sanitizers?

Is Hand Sanitizer Flammable?

The chemical composition of a hand sanitizer determines its flammability. For this reason, some hand sanitizers burn while others do not. Sanitizers must have at least 60% alcohol in order to destroy germs. Most hand sanitizer products have a significant alcohol content. The fire hazard is therefore evident. Ethylene or propanol are the most common types of alcohol used in hand sanitizers. Nevertheless, regardless of the kind of alcohol used, hand sanitizers burn. 

How Great of a Risk Is Fire?

Although hand sanitizers can catch fire, there isn’t always a significant risk of a fire caused by them. However, you should still handle it with caution, just like you would any other combustible material.

However, you shouldn’t worry too much. It’s possible that pictures of the aftermath of a hand sanitizer bottle exploding in a hot car have been circulating online. These are fantastic photos that you shouldn’t trust. That would need a car’s interior to reach 572 degrees. Even though Maryland summers might be quite hot, your automobile will never become that hot.

Ensuring Proper Hand Sanitizer Storage and Usage 

Hand sanitizers often carry a little fire risk. There is usually no fire danger while carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer about the house or in your luggage. On the other hand, there is a fire risk if the sanitizers are kept in big amounts. The majority of hand sanitizers are made using ethyl alcohol, which is flammable and evaporates at room temperature. Can you keep hand sanitizers in your car without risk? Leaving hand sanitizer in your car is not a good idea, especially during the sweltering summer months. A catastrophe may result from exposure to smoke, the sun, or an open flame! 

The flashpoint of hand sanitizers containing alcohol is 63 degrees Fahrenheit. The phrase is used to describe a liquid’s propensity to ignite. The lowest temperature at which smoke, heat, or an open flame can ignite the vapors of hand sanitizer and cause a fire. Therefore, putting a little hand sanitizer in the car without any flame source present reduces the likelihood of a fire starting and shouldn’t be a major cause for concern. 

But heat exposure in the automobile can cause the alcohol in the hand sanitizer to evaporate, decreasing its efficacy. You should be able to store the container in your car for a short while if its lid, cap, or pump are securely closed. 

Are Sanitizers Less Flammable If the Alcohol Content Is Lower? 

In order to effectively combat bacteria, viruses, and other diseases, hand sanitizers should contain at least 60% alcohol, according to the CDC and WHO. That being said, a sanitizer cannot be made less flammable by lowering its alcohol level. Viral, bacterial, and infectious proliferation will also rise when the alcohol content is decreased.

How Can Hand Sanitizers’ Flammability Risk Be Reduced? 

Maintaining good hand hygiene is essential for killing bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens as well as halting the transmission of illnesses. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers include ethyl alcohol, a flammable liquid that easily evaporates at ambient temperature. However, the likelihood of fires will be minimal if bulk dispensers are fitted appropriately and hand sanitizers are maintained carefully. 

Despite the extremely low frequency of hand sanitizer-related fires, the CDC advises following some precautions to avoid fires. Make sure the combustible hand sanitizers are kept out of reach of spark sources and in a secure location. The dispensers should also be easily accessible, out of the line of fire, and in places where there is little risk of a fire spreading.

Last Words

The improper storage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers might result in a fire. Yet, if sanitizers are maintained in accordance with CDC recommendations, the fire danger can be reduced.If you do have a lot of hand sanitizer in your house, you should handle it the same way you would any other combustible material. Keep it somewhere cold, well-ventilated, and close to a fire extinguisher. After keeping it well away from anything that can catch fire, you can forget about it.


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