Following national widespread news coverage claiming that hand sanitiser kept in vehicles can pose a fire risk, the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has refuted these reports and confirmed there have been no cases of such fires in the UK.
NHS Property Services issued a warning about what is considered to be the dangers of keeping sanitisers in vehicles to its front line staff but has since retracted this advice.
Roy Wilsher, NFCC Chair, has 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.”
The initial reports stemmed from media articles in the USA. Following this, NHS Property Services issued an internal message to frontline staff, highlighting what is believed to be a potential risk.
NHS Property Services has 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.”
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