British public health service issues warning against leaving hand sanitizer in car due to fire risk

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The NHS has issued a warning after it was discovered that hand sanitisers left in cars during hot weather can catch fire if there is a spark.

When alcohol-based hand sanitiser becomes hot, it releases flammable vapours which can then easily catch fire, NottinhgamshireLive reports.

Hand gels have a flash-point (the lowest temperature in which the substance gives off vapours into the air around it) of around 21-24C.

The vapour in the air could however only be ignited by a spark, meaning problematic electrics in a vehicle could cause a fire.

With more and more people now carrying hand gels with them due to coronavirus, the NHS has issued a safety warning.

A Clinical Commissioning Group for the NHS in Coventry said: “We have received a number of reports of hand sanitiser being the cause of fires when left in vehicles in the hot weather the UK is currently experiencing.

“The alcohol hand sanitiser is becoming heated resulting in flammable vapours being released.

“Make sure to remove it.”

Elsewhere, London Fire Brigade (LFB) has warned people not to have barbecues on dry grass, not to drop cigarettes or matches, and not to leave rubbish such as glass bottles lying around amid a risk they could start fires.

LFB Deputy Commissioner Richard Mills said: “Barbecuing on dry grass is thoughtless and reckless and can easily be the cause of a significant fire, which isn’t something you want on your conscience.

The heatwave prompted the Met Office to issue a level three heat-health warning for some parts on the UK.

The amber warning advises Brits to look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions as temperatures rocket to the low-30s.

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