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Correction: Though rare, hand sanitizer could ignite in extreme heat

Western Lakes FD warns dangers of leaving hand sanitizer in car during warm temperatures
Posted at 2:24 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 10:03:54-04

Correction: A previous version of this story suggested the photo of the damaged car door was from a fire that happened in Wisconsin. It appears to have actually originated in Brazil. Additionally, while it may be rare but possible to ignite a fire via hand sanitizer using focused light, for the material to combust on its own, internal temperatures in the vehicle would need to reach at least 600 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Western Lakes Fire Department reminded everyone via their social media account that it can be potentially dangerous to leave clear plastic water bottles or hand sanitizer in your car while being exposed to direct, focused sunlight during hot temperatures.

"By its nature, most hand sanitizer is alcohol-based and therefore flammable. Keeping it in your car during hot weather, exposing it to sun causing magnification of light through the bottle, and particularly being next to open flame while smoking in vehicles or grilling while enjoying this weekend can lead to disaster," the Facebook post said.

The picture, which appears to have originated in Brazil, shows a smoldering driver side door.

More information about vehicle fires and their causes can be found at this link from the National Fire Protection Association .

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