Fire brigade disputes claim hand sanitiser can catch fire in hot car, but say it must be handled with care

People are being warned not to keep large amounts of hand sanitiser in their home or car because of the risk of fire.

Dublin Fire Brigade says the high alcohol content means it needs to be treated with the same care as any other accelerant.

However, it says a claim circulating on social media that it could catch fire in a hot car is unproven.

Station officer Darren O'Connor said hand sanitiser is an essential item at the moment, but it has to be handled with care.

Mr O'Connor said: "We would advise people to keep as little as possible in your car or in an enclosed space in your home. Keep it away from ignition sources, keep it away from flammable surfaces.

"If you are going to use it on your hand, make sure it is evaporated and that your hands are completely dry before you have a cigarette or before you go to light a barbecue, etc.

"It is a flammable liquid, but it is a need-to-have item at the moment so we would advise to keep the little amount that you need."

He added that he is not so sure it could catch fire on its own.

Mr O'Connor said: "We've seen an image going around on social media, I don't know where it came from, but the thing is with hand sanitiser is that it is 70% alcohol at least, the thing with alcohol is that it burns with no flame, it can burn with an invisible flame.

"It can sustain a flame as low as 11 degrees in temperature in the ambient air, but it needs about 460 to 465 degrees to actually sustain a flame, so I'm not too sure the photograph has been proven."