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'No issue' leaving hand sanitizer in hot car, say Knox County fire officials

Effective DIY sanitizers must contain at least 60 percent alcohol. / (MGN)
Effective DIY sanitizers must contain at least 60 percent alcohol. / (MGN)(WVLT)
Published: May. 22, 2020 at 3:45 PM EDT
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Knox County fire officials said they have not issued a warning about leaving hand sanitizer in the car during the hot summer months.

The statement comes after a Wisconsin fire department took to Facebook to warn about the dangers of leaving hand sanitizer in vehicles on a hot day. The post garnered a lot of attention and drew criticism as to whether a risk actually exists.

In the post, the fire department showed a burned-out car door and explained that most hand sanitizers are alcohol-based and flammable.

“Keeping it in your car during hot weather, exposing it to sun, and particularly being next to open flame while smoking in vehicles or grilling while enjoying this weekend can lead to disaster,” the post read.

Many officials and researchers took to social media to discredit the fire department post, saying that the images used were from an article about two students setting their door on fire with an aerosol can and a lighter.

Knox County fire officials said they have had "no issues in the past" with people leaving hand sanitizer in their cars and said "no warnings had been issued."

Experts said in order for a bottle of hand sanitizer to catch on fire it would need to reach a temperature of at least 300 degrees. According to a study, vehicles usually only reach 160 degrees on a hot day.

Copyright 2020 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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