Italy homemade sanitiser
Hand sanitisers and gloves should not be exposed to open flames in kitchens as they are highly flammable, warned Abu Dhabi Police. Photo for illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: Police have issued a cautionary message to residents using hand sanitisers and gloves in kitchens, as they are highly flammable materials.

Recently, a number of families have been applying hand sanitisers and wearing gloves as a preventive measure against the coronavirus COVID-19. The majority of hand sanitisers effective against the coronavirus contain at least 60 per cent or more of alcohol content, in addition to other active medicinal ingredients, such as Chlorhexidine.

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People should avoid exposing hand sanitisers and gloves to open flames, especially in the kitchen.

In its advisory, Abu Dhabi Police said: “Families should not approach open flames in a kitchen immediately after using a hand sanitiser, as it is considered a flammable material, so be careful and adhere to the requirements of fire safety.”

Abu Dhabi Police warn about hand sanitisers
Families should not approach open flames in a kitchen after using a hand sanitiser as it is considered a flammable material, according to an advisory issued by Abu Dhabi Police. Image Credit: Supplied

Residents were also cautioned against exposing such types of highly flammable materials away from high levels of heat.

Captain Engineer Ali Hasan Al Midfai, head of Handling Hazardous Materials, Emergency and Public Safety Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police, explained that hand sanitisers are classified as a flammable liquid due to its high volume of alcohol content.

“Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are classified as a Class 1 flammable liquid, and children should not be allowed to have access to, or use hand sanitisers, unless supervised by an adult,” he said.

“These fire concerns are not the only safety issues associated with it. When used as directed, they are considered to be safe. But the improper use of hand sanitisers pose a risk to children and adults. For example, ingestion can result in poisoning,” said Capt. Al Midfai.

Fire safety

Alcohol-based hand sanitisers (ABHS) contain ethyl alcohol, which readily evaporates at room temperature into an ignitable vapor, and is considered a flammable liquid. Although the incidence of fires related to ABHS is very low, hand sanitisers should be stored safely and bulk dispensers should be installed and maintained correctly.

Before entering the kitchen, it is advised to wash hands with soap and water.