NHS Warns Against Leaving Hand Sanitiser In Hot Cars
People have been warned against leaving hand sanitiser in their cars during hot weather, because it could be more dangerous than you think.
With most of us making sure we have plenty of the stuff to hand at the moment, now we're experiencing hot weather, the NHS have said that it poses a fire risk.
In a notice issued by the NHS property services, it says that alcohol-based ones shouldn't be left in hot cars.
The document reads: "This quick share is to alert all colleagues to the potential fire risk in vehicles, caused by alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
"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."
It explained that the vapours from the alcohol in the sanitiser are flammable.
The notice continued: "These vapours are reaching their 'flashpoint' and then ignite in normal air conditions, setting fire to flammable components within the car.
"Remove all alcohol-based hand sanitiser products from vehicles when they are not occupied, do not leave hand sanitiser in unattended vehicles."
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The flash point of antibacterial gels is around 21 degrees, and in the UK, Dettol antibacterial hand gel has a flash point of 24 degrees, while Carex antibacterial hand gels have flash points of between 22 degrees and 23 degrees.
Don't panic though - the temperature needed to make a substance ignite without a spark, aka the 'auto-ignition temperature' is much higher.
According to Dettol, the auto-ignition temperature for ethanol, the main ingredient in alcohol hand sanitiser is about 363 degrees - much higher than the temperature hot cars can get to on a sunny day, which is still a toasty 55 degrees, roughly.
And that is extremely helpful advice, seeing as the UK is experiencing a 'mini heatwave' this week.
In fact, it's that warm that the Met Office issued a 'heat-health alert' yesterday.
The #UKHeatwave started yesterday, and will continue today and tomorrow with max temps in the high twenties or low thirties for many :thermometer:️ pic.twitter.com/dXVklpHrh9
- Met Office (@metoffice) June 24, 2020
Temperatures are expected to rise over the coming days, reaching a peak tommorrow (Thursday), when London is predicted to be hotter than Ibiza.
A heat alert is triggered when the Met Office forecasts there is a 60 percent or higher risk of temperatures breaking pre-set thresholds in one or more regions on at least two consecutive days and nights. The warning is issued so the public and healthcare professionals can take steps to minimise the threat to health.
Large swathes of the country are expected to reach the high 20s by Wednesday, with central and south England predicted to reach highs of 30 to 34 Celsius.
Featured Image Credit: PA