Can hand sanitizer explode in your car on a hot day? Viral post sparks controversy

Can hand sanitizer explode?

VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WBRC) - A social media post from a Wisconsin fire department warning people about the dangers of leaving hand sanitizer in their vehicles on a hot day has gone viral. However, many are saying the claim is not true.

In a Facebook post showing a burned-out car door, the Western Lakes Fire District explains most hand sanitizers are alcohol-based, making them flammable. It adds that heat can cause the sanitizer to catch fire.

“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,” they stated.

However, only hours after the post went viral, Poynter said the fire department is spreading misinformation. Battalion Chief Scott Ferrell with the Vestavia Hills Fire Department also disagrees with the viral post.

“It says on each unit of sanitizer that it is flammable, but for it to catch fire it needs to come in connect with a flame,” he said.

Ferrell said having hand sanitizer in your car is OK, adding that he keeps some in his car.

“I don’t think it’s going to spontaneously combust,” he said.

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