Just when you thought you were playing it safe.
The Western Lakes Fire Department of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, shared an explosive photograph Thursday as a warning to all you motorists trying to be hyper-vigilant about the coronavirus this summer.
Leave your hand sanitizer in a hot car and your vehicle’s interior could end up a fire scene.
“By its nature, most hand sanitizer is alcohol-based and therefore flammable,” the fire officials wrote on Facebook May 21, alongside a photo of a driver-side door interior that had been mangled and melted by hand sanitizer.
“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,” they explained.
The first responders, who use their social media presence to educate their community on common fire hazards, added that clear water bottles also pose an explosion risk. They included a link to the National Fire Protection Association’s YouTube video with more warnings on hand sanitizer combustion.
However, a few citizen journalists on social media were dubious of the bizarre claim, asking the WLFD to provide hard evidence of spontaneous hand sanitizer combustion.
“Has WLFD seen incidents of either of these two things happening?” asked Jeff Meyers. Others replied to Meyers’ query claiming they had parsed the links provided in the original Facebook post, but none pointed to proof of the hand sanitizer blast theory.
Meyers continued, “I’ve found stories of bottles that swelled and ‘exploded’ (due to pressure, not combustion) that were in hot cars, but nothing about bottles of hand sanitizers spontaneously combusting. Additionally I did find some stories that claimed hand sanitizers would lose their effectiveness if left in a hot car. (no mention of fire risk).”
“Please quote your sources,” echoed Sara Morgan.
Claiming the WLFD has an “ethical duty” to back up this claim, Meyers and others had finally goaded a response.