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In the wrong (hot) conditions, hand sanitizer in your car could catch fire

Prolonged contact with sunlight can make it combust

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Under the right -- make that wrong -- conditions, that bottle of hand sanitizer sitting in your car just might catch fire.

"If you have hand sanitizer in the sun and the sun directly hits it a certain way, it can catch on fire," Bend Fire & Rescue Captain Trish Connolly said Friday

Common hand sanitizers found at stores contain 60-70% alcohol, a highly flammable liquid. The label on a miniature Purell hand sanitizer says to store it at a temperature lower than 110 degrees. A car on a summer day could easily reach temperatures beyond that, according to a 2018 Arizona State University study.

Connolly has never responded to a call involving hand sanitizer catching fire, but she said it's still something to be aware of.

"It's a flammable liquid, so thinking about how you are storing it is always a good idea," Connolly said.

Connolly said the best place for hand sanitizer when it's in your vehicle is somewhere not exposed to direct sunlight, like the glove compartment.

Hand sanitizer could even explode, if it's hot enough and if there's a flame source, like a cigarette, according to The National Fire Protection Association.

Bend / Central Oregon / Fire / News / Top Stories
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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.

Comments

19 Comments

      1. Why are you even engaging in a conversation? Your job is not essential or necessary at all, lol. All your employer has to do is take a look at what you do everyday. I mean, you might be good at something else but this really isn’t your thing, lol.

        1. LOL indeed. I’ve kicked out more news this week than ever. I know my job is VERY much essential, and enjoy it very much. My employers can see the volume of news we post every day, and they are very appreciative. It’s been my “thing” for 40-plus years, and fortunately despite the inevitable critics, every day I hear from folks who appreciate what I — we — do to inform the public. Have a great weekend.

              1. There is nothing essential about anything you do on this website. You get hit by a dump truck tomorrow and nobody would even notice. This comment section is straight outta 2004… your input is unnecessary and not essential at all.

    1. Considering that she and her predecessor appointed the Supreme court just exactly how DO you think this will turn out? LOL! And I hope I’m wrong.

  1. Do the hysterics and fear mongering never end ? Is anyone out there really concerned that your mist bottle of hand-sanitizer will catch fire… when most of you drive around with bottles of Everclear in your trunk anyway ???

    These stories are just more proof that Libs/Dems/Lertens want you to be afraid of your own shadow- and suffer !!!

      1. Feel free to post the data regarding the number of times in the past twenty years that “hand sanitizer” left inside an Oregon car- burst into flames !

        I’m willing to bet “self-serve gas stations” have witnessed more fires !

        What says you ?

  2. We are all doomed. We are all going to die. If you even LOOK at covid19 you will die. If you dare wear a face mask you will die. If you keep hand sanitizer you will blow up and die. Don’t leave your house. Don’t buy polluted groceries. Abandon all hope ye who enter here.
    Biden – Coronavirus 2020

  3. A bottle of water , or even an empty glass bottle could cause a fire if in direct sunlight. The bottle acts as a lens and…you know the science. I “worked” wildland fires as a contract cutter for a couple of decades. We were all issued hand sanitizer, carried it in our rigs. Fire fighting rules dictate when you are out of your rig (pretty much hours at a time)you park it well off the road, facing out of the fire, windows rolled up, keys in the ignition. Never once did I hear of hand sanitizer accidentally catching fire. If it ever would have, every morning briefing on every fire across the nation would have discussed it.

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