Firefighters warned about the risk of a bottle exploding in a carMay 26, 2020
The Wisconsin Fire Department (USA) published an appeal on Facebook, in which it informed about the danger of a sanitizer left in a car. According to firefighters, a hand sanitizer can explode in a car overheated in the sun. As an illustration, a photo of a steaming and fused door panel was attached.
According to the fire service, most disinfectants are alcohol-based, which can easily ignite.
“Storing in a car in hot weather, exposure to the sun, causing the light to refract through the bottle, and in particular being close to an open fire while smoking in vehicles or near the grill on weekends, can lead to disaster. Please be careful, ”the department urged.
Many comments were left on this appeal. A number of users criticized the publication. The fact is that the fire service used the old photo. In addition, the car, which was shown in the photo, was shot not in Wisconsin, but in Brazil. The car suffered from the fact that the bottle of the sanitizer ignited under the influence of open fire (the driver inadvertently smoked in the cabin of his car), and not from sunlight.
Another Facebook user said that the bottle cannot catch fire until the temperature in the cabin rises to 300F (150 degrees Celsius), adding that for this reason one should only be careful about open fire. Firefighters noted that he was right: “Indeed, the temperature in the car should reach 300 F. However, the temperature inside the bottle can be higher than in the cabin, due to the fact that a focused beam of light passes through transparent plastic. This is the difference we’re talking about. ”
Interestingly, the Wisconsin fire service attached a link to a video of the National Fire Protection Association. In it, a YouTube user asked: “My car is standing in the hot sun in the summer, should I worry if I leave a sanitizer in it? He is in the glove box, can he spontaneously ignite due to the heat? ”
The response of the National Fire Protection Association was: “The fumes emitted by the sanitizer discussed in this video still require a source of ignition (such as a candle flame) so that they can ignite. In order for them to catch fire spontaneously without any external source of ignition, the cabin temperature must reach more than 700 degrees Fahrenheit (more than 370 degrees Celsius)! ”
If you trust these data, the probability of self-ignition of the sanitizer left in the car, apparently, tends to zero. However, in Brazil, a similar study showed that in order to ignite a disinfectant, the temperature in the car must exceed 160 F (71.11 degrees Celsius), which is much lower than the level indicated by American firefighters. Thus, caution in handling sanitizers in a car will still not hurt.
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