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NBFES: stay safe when using hand sanitizer

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The North Bay Fire and Emergency Services are offering some tips to remain safe with alcohol-based hand sanitizer as the warmer weather continues.

Officials say with recent reports online of hand sanitizer spontaneously combusting in hot vehicles when left out in the vehicles, the Engineers with the Office of the Fire Marshal Investigations Services have looked into this concern. The engineers discovered that the rate of vapour leaking from a personal container of hand sanitizer left in a hot vehicle would not result in sufficient vapour density to fall within flammable limits in air.

Officials add this supports information posted by the National Fire Protection Association that says it is not unsafe to leave hand sanitizer in a hot vehicle.

However, NBFES recommends that if you are leaving hand sanitizer inside of a warm vehicle; keep the containers upright to avoid any spillage. As an added precaution, containers of hand sanitizers left in a vehicle should be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid leakage from over-pressurization of the container.

Fire officials add that alcohol-based hand sanitizer is flammable and can give off flammable vapours that could ignite if exposed to open flame or an ignition source. When using hand sanitizer, hands should be rubbed together until dry. Users should be especially careful if attempting to smoke, light candles, or use a gas stove immediately after applying hand sanitizer.

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