LOOK: Illinois firefighters share pics of damage caused by hand sanitizer left inside car

They say a small bottle was left on the dashboard and caused a fire inside the car.

Sam Masterson
June 19, 2020 - 1:54 pm
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(KMOX) - A fire department in Illinois is warning people about the danger of leaving hand sanitizer and other bottles of liquid in their cars. They shared photos of a melted dashboard and interior of a car where a "small bottle of hand sanitizer" left inside the hot car led to a fire.

fire, melt, hand sanitizer
(Waukegan Fire Department)
Waukegan Fire Department firefighters responded to a car fire on Thursday afternoon and say "sunlight shining through the windshield onto the sanitizer was enough to cause ignition." The bottle was left on the car's dashboard and firefighters say the person was "refilling with 80% alcohol sanitizer that was supplied by their employer."

Related: Warning: hand sanitizer left in sunlight could start fire

There was no mention of injuries caused by the fire. The department says the flames were out by the time a crew arrived on the scene.

They shared a major warning about how dangerous it can be to leave any bottles of liquid inside a car:

"The Waukegan Fire Department is aware of other incidents similar to this happening as more and more people are using a higher alcohol concentration hand sanitizer due to our current pandemic. As the heat of summer is near we STRONGLY recommend that hand sanitizers not be kept in cars.

"While this incident appears to have started from a container of hand sanitizer left on a dashboard, this could occur with other bottles of liquids as well and is more a result of the storage of any liquid in a container in direct sunlight on the dashboard. With the increased use of hand sanitizer during our current pandemic we want people to focus on the safe storage of the container."

Last month, a post on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) website says, "it is not unsafe to leave hand sanitizer inside a hot vehicle." 

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