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 Post subject: Hand sanitizer Car fires
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 6:15 am 
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It has been brought to my attention that there have been nearly a hundred car fires up and down the UK caused by high alcohol hand sanitizer left in parked vehicles.

I am using the gel type which should be OK but might be an idea to remove the bottles from vehicles whilst parked up.

Being 60 to 70 per cent alcohol plus the peroxide they add makes it highly flammable stuff be careful :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:37 pm 
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I wonder if those fires in cars might have actually done the owners a favour or two.

I can imagine many taxi/PH owners who might be better off, at this time, if their motors went up in smoke. :-s

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:54 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
I wonder if those fires in cars might have actually done the owners a favour or two.

I can imagine many taxi/PH owners who might be better off, at this time, if their motors went up in smoke. :-s



from what I understand it is more likely to be the door trim and mechanism slightly damaged than a complete inferno. The pics i have seen do seem to show minor fire damage rather than burnt out vehicles

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:38 am 
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Completely fake news.
The flashpoint of 70% alcohol hand sanitiser is around 17c IF an ignition source is applied, without an ignition source it has to reach around 370c to spontaneously ignite. All this is in open air not an enclosed bottle with reduced oxygen.

The myth arose after Wisconsin firefighters posted pictures of a scorched car door that had sanitiser in the pocket, the owner had used the sanitiser then lit a cigarette. It was not a bottle that had just been left in the sun.

Several newspapers then reposted the story and pictures but left out the bit about lighting a cigarette being the cause of the fire starting - it was then shared across social media.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/fact ... 247418002/


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:31 am 
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sasha wrote:
Completely fake news.
The flashpoint of 70% alcohol hand sanitiser is around 17c IF an ignition source is applied, without an ignition source it has to reach around 370c to spontaneously ignite. All this is in open air not an enclosed bottle with reduced oxygen.

The myth arose after Wisconsin firefighters posted pictures of a scorched car door that had sanitiser in the pocket, the owner had used the sanitiser then lit a cigarette. It was not a bottle that had just been left in the sun.

Several newspapers then reposted the story and pictures but left out the bit about lighting a cigarette being the cause of the fire starting - it was then shared across social media.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/fact ... 247418002/


Fake news is edders favourite kind of news.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 7:32 am 
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sasha wrote:
Completely fake news.
The flashpoint of 70% alcohol hand sanitiser is around 17c IF an ignition source is applied, without an ignition source it has to reach around 370c to spontaneously ignite. All this is in open air not an enclosed bottle with reduced oxygen.

The myth arose after Wisconsin firefighters posted pictures of a scorched car door that had sanitiser in the pocket, the owner had used the sanitiser then lit a cigarette. It was not a bottle that had just been left in the sun.

Several newspapers then reposted the story and pictures but left out the bit about lighting a cigarette being the cause of the fire starting - it was then shared across social media.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/fact ... 247418002/

How can it be fake news when Edders has heard of nearly 100 incidents in the uk?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 9:26 am 
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the source is a friend on a different forum possibly this is an exaggerated story but I believe there is something in it

Don't forget there is also hydrogen peroxide (rocket fuel) included which can explosively decompose under the wrong conditions. Better safe than sorry as the saying goes.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:01 am 
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edders23 wrote:
the source is a friend on a different forum possibly this is an exaggerated story but I believe there is something in it

Don't forget there is also hydrogen peroxide (rocket fuel) included which can explosively decompose under the wrong conditions. Better safe than sorry as the saying goes.


Best stop driving around with 50 litres of petrol in your car, whilst you’re at it, that stuff is dangerous too.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:21 am 
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Plenty of credible sources available online saying it's fake news:

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/fact ... 247418002/

https://fullfact.org/online/hand-sanitiser-catch-fire/

However, apparently the NHS in Kent have issued advice consistent with Edders' claim:

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/sittingbou ... es-227940/

Personally I'd take what the NHS says here with a pinch of salt. Doubt if it would spontaneously combust without some sort of external ignition source, because it doesn't look like it would make a lot of difference if it's stored at 20C (room temperature) or 35C (inside a car on a hot day).

Personally I wouldn't store it in car directly exposed to the sunlight (on the dashboard, say), but I wouldn't worry about leaving it under a seat, for example.

There's no doubt it's a potential hazard, particularly if storing in large quantities or you're lighting a cigarette, for example, but suspect the whole thing a bit exaggerated.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:01 am 
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edders23 wrote:
the source is a friend on a different forum possibly this is an exaggerated story but I believe there is something in it

Don't forget there is also hydrogen peroxide (rocket fuel) included which can explosively decompose under the wrong conditions. Better safe than sorry as the saying goes.

Isn't hydrogen peroxide what people use to bleach their hair?
here are some other uses.
Uses
Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic used on the skin to prevent infection of minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. It may also be used as a mouth rinse to help remove mucus or to relieve minor mouth irritation (e.g., due to canker/cold sores, gingivitis). This product works by releasing oxygen when it is applied to the affected area. The release of oxygen causes foaming, which helps to remove dead skin and clean the area.

This product should not be used to treat deep wounds, animal bites, or serious burns.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 1:23 pm 
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grandad wrote:
Isn't hydrogen peroxide what people use to bleach their hair?

Yes, it is a major constituent of a homemade bomb as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 4:42 pm 
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If it's a toss up between my motor going up in flames, and my lungs collapsing, then the hand santisers win every time.

I can replace my motor, my lungs are here for (hopefully) the long term.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:43 am 
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Sussex wrote:
I can replace my motor, my lungs are here for (hopefully) the long term.

On the other hand, it could be a choice between being burnt to a crisp in a chemical fire, and getting Covid-19 and not even noticing it :-s :badgrin:

Anyway:


Fife health bosses’ U-turn over claim hand sanitiser in hot vehicles can pose fire risk

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/lo ... fire-risk/

Health bosses in Fife have been forced into an embarrassing climbdown after mistakenly advising the public hand sanitiser kept in hot vehicles can pose a fire risk.

NHS Fife posted a message on social media urging patients and staff not to store the products in their vehicles following reports from the United States about car fires.

The guidance was issued nationally by NHS Property Services and other health boards such as NHS Tayside stopped short of issuing the same warning amid suggestions the evidence was not there to back it up.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has publicly rubbished the fire risk posed by hand sanitisers, forcing the NHS to formally retract its previous advice.

Roy Wilsher, NFCC chairman, said: “We want to reassure people that this product will not combust if left in a car – even on the hottest day.

“For hand sanitiser to cause a fire it would need to come into contact with a spark.

“Hand sanitiser is very important in the fight against the spread of COVID-19, therefore it is is essential we debunk this myth.

“We advise people to ensure they store their hand sanitisers in vehicles safely, which includes keeping bottles closed and out of direct sunlight, such as in the glove box.

“This will ensure the contents do not deteriorate and means bottles cannot be magnified by the sun. Sanitiser should also be kept away from naked flame.”

After reports from media articles in the USA, NHS Property Services issued an internal message to frontline staff, highlighting what it believed to be a potential risk.

A spokesperson said: “This decision to raise awareness across colleagues was made in good faith.

“It is now our understanding that the risks associated with hand sanitisers in vehicles only become apparent when in contact with a spark.

“We will be issuing a formal alert to our frontline teams to clarify this situation.”

The alcohol in the sanitiser would need to be open to their air in order to evaporate, it added, while the boiling points of the materials in hand sanitiser would need very high temperatures inside a vehicle to vaporise common alcohol products.

The NFCC went on to say the vapours would need to reach a “lower explosive limit” in order to form an ignitable mixture, which would then result in a “flash” when ignited rather than a sustained fire.


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