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25 June 2020
NHS Property has issued an internal memo warning staff about the dangers of leaving alcohol-based hand gel to overheat in cars.
NHS Property Services stated that there was a "number of reports of hand sanitiser being the cause of fires when left in vehicles in the hot weather the UK is currently experiencing".
It informed NHS employees that the heatwave could cause alcohol-based gels to reach their "flashpoint", which would see them burst into flames when the vapour in them comes into contact with hot air.
"With the hot summer approaching, there was a concern for our facilities management staff who would be transporting this material. This decision to raise awareness across colleagues was made in good faith.
"It is now our understanding that the risks associated with hand sanitisers in vehicles only become apparent when in contact with a spark. We will be issuing a formal alert to our frontline teams to clarify this situation."
The National Fire Chiefs Council added that there have been "no cases of such fires in the UK".
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