The National Fire Protection has sent out a warning to citizens to keep alcohol-based sanitizer bottles out of your car. The heat that comes with summer could actually explode those bottles. A video has been released that hand sanitizer’s flash point is lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that it just needs is a flame source, like someone smoking in the car, for it to be a risk as an explosion. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a flammable liquid.
Alcohol burns, this is a known fact. How flammable? The number to keep an eye on that tells you how flammable a substance is, is called the flash point. This is the given temperature of how hot the liquid needs for it to give off enough vapor to ignite in air. The specific range of hand sanitizer’s flash point is from 63-64 degrees Fahrenheit, below most room temperatures. This is frightful. As temperatures rise, the inside of cars sitting in the parking lot get hotter. You know how hot it gets. You’ve gone into your car during summer and felt the heat of the seats, seatbelts, or steering wheel. You may have left a water bottle in your car and felt how hot it gets in the car, this temperature is well beyond the flashpoint of hand sanitizer, and could result in a messy situation.
Hand sanitizer has become a highly valued and demanded item in a time where keeping hands clean to keep yourself healthy is literally a vital thing to keep yourself and loved ones alive. When stocking up on hand sanitizer, around 5 gallons of it, you do need to place them in a flammable liquids cabinet or an area protected by a fire sprinkler system. Hand sanitizer is being stored in some unorthodox storage places because of the current situation, but these new ways of storing of hand sanitizer could result in an explosion.
Wisconsin firefighters posted an alarming photo of a car blown apart by an explosion. This photo, however, is of an explosion set in 2015 that had no relation to hand sanitizer at all. There is no way that hand sanitizer can cause an explosion of that scale, which the firefighters have vocalized. However, the wrong combination of concentrated sunlight and a bottle of hand sanitizer could lead to an explosion of a size that is big enough to be feared.
Is there reason to believe that a bottle of hand sanitizer will just blow up in a hot car? Likely not. However, it the information is all right here— so you decide.