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Safety Notice – Ignited Hand Sanitiser

An alert recently published on IMCA’s website has grabbed our attention: an unfortunate individual had their hands burnt when alcohol-based hand sanitiser caught fire causing them first and second degree burns.


The individual was using alcohol-based hand sanitiser as recommended throughout the coronavirus pandemic. They touched a surface before their hands were completely dry. Due to static electricity, the fumes from the hand sanitiser ignited with an almost invisible flame on both hands. Thankfully, the person quickly managed to get to a sink to extinguish the flames.


This alert clearly highlights the importance of identifying hand sanitiser as a potential hazard. Alcohol-based sanitiser is inherently flammable and hence a potentially hazardous source of energy.


Individuals should continue to wash their hands with soap and water to contain the spread of coronavirus if possible. Key workers in utilities and construction are using De-Wipe in the field due to them containing no alcohol. If only alcohol-based hand sanitisers are available, make sure all liquid is evaporated before touching any surfaces.


Please read the full safety alert originally from Highways England’s Health Safety and Wellbeing Division – click here.