Texas experts warn that leaving the vehicle’s hand sanitizer on a hot day could lead to “disaster.”
The Western Lakes Fire District warned residents in a Facebook post showing a melted car door, that the alcohol content of hand sanitisers makes them flammable.
“Keeping it in your car during hot weather, exposing it to sun causing magnification of light through the bottle, and particularly being next to open flame while smoking in vehicles or grilling while enjoying this weekend, can lead to disaster,” the department said.
The photograph shows serious damage to the driver’s side door of a car caused by “hand sanitizer igniting in a hot vehicle that reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit inside the vehicle”, according to CBS Dallas.
According to the report, the Texas Department of Public Safety shared the image as well to warn the rest of the state about the danger.
“It’s flammable and it’s an irritant” retired Dallas firefighter Sherrie Wilson told the broadcaster.
“When it’s venting and if it’s venting in a small space like a car, and vapour is released, it can explode.”
Authorities clarified that flammables transform to vapor in a enclosed area such as a vehicle and where there is an injection of residual energy into the air that will lead to a burn.
“And that could simply be somebody getting in and pulling down on a sweater or jacket or anything like that,” Ms Wilson said.
Additionally, the officials warned that leaving sanitation products in hot environments for an extended period of time could reduce their alcohol content and make them less effective. “If the alcohol evaporates, the hand sanitiser is less efficient. It is the alcohol that kills the germs” Dr. Mihaela C Stefan, of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Dallas University of Texas told the outlet.
The State Department of Health Services has released a alert last month about “improper use of hand sanitisers and disinfectant products during the Covid-19 pandemic .”
The Department of Health has seen a significant 64 per cent rise in safety issues from unintentional consumption of hand sanitizer, according to the release. In the four weeks leading up to 23 February, store sales of hand sanitizers jumped by 255% as the pandemic intensified, according to a UK survey. Texas has recorded almost 50,000 novel coronavirus cases, and more than 1,300 deaths as of Friday.