Car fire disrupts Friday prayers
A car on fire in the UAE. For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Police issued a new warning to remind drivers of inflammable items that should never be left in vehicles, especially as the summer heat kicks in.

Abu Dhabi Police cautioned drivers against leaving behind hand sanitisers and cigarette lighters, in addition to perfume bottles, gas cylinders, mobile phone chargers and phone batteries.

Police further explained that all these objects have the potential to catch fire or explode, especially if exposed to heat or sunlight.

"If left inside a vehicle, especially during the daytime, these dangerous materials can explode and cause a disaster, even if they not placed under direct sunlight," the police added.

Hand sanitizers

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.

Alcohol-based hand sanitisers (ABHS) contain ethyl alcohol, which readily evaporates at room temperature into an ignitable vapor, and is considered an inflammable 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 properly maintained.

Cigarette lighters

The sweltering heat in the vehicle is akin to the greenhouse effect as the air inside heats up, the car is closed and has no place for the air to escape. Radiation from the sun is also absorbed through the car’s glass, enabling temperature to climb to hazardous levels.

A cigarette lighter has the ability to explode in high temperatures which can cause damage to glass inside the vehicle or burn holes in the seats. Lighters are also very dangerous as they have the potential to explode in high temperatures which can cause damage to glass inside the vehicle or burn holes in the seats.

Perfume bottles

Most perfumes are flammable but some are not it all depends on the brand and the composition. The base of a perfume is commonly alcohol or water. Ethyl alcohol is generally used because it evaporates quickly on the skin. Other bases include Coumarin, Benzyl Benzotate, Phthalates, or even beeswax.

According to, “a perfume consists of 78 to 95 percent ethyl alcohol”, which means that it will most definitely burn.

Gas cylinders

Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) may leak as a gas or a liquid. If the liquid leaks it will quickly evaporate and form a relatively large cloud of gas which will drop to the ground, as it is heavier than air. LPG vapours can run for long distances along the ground and can collect in drains or basements. When the gas meets a source of ignition it can burn or explode.

Cylinders can also explode if involved in a fire.

Mobile phone chargers and phone batteries

Different devices require different levels of charge, but generic chargers have a greater risk of putting too much energy into a device, causing the battery to overheat. Phone batteries also pose a danger as they can deform, leak and explode when exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time.