Will hand sanitizer combust in the car

The Western Lakes Fire District based in Wisconsin posted a warning to its followers on social media informing them that hand sanitizer can ignite in a hot automobile when left in the sun. 

The warning was posted along with a photo showing a driver’s side door with severe fire damage. The photo came with a service announcement, hand sanitizer contains alcohol and alcohol is flammable. 

But what is the likelihood that hand sanitizer will ignite if left in a car? 

Extremely low, according Sheridan College Chemistry Instructor Robert Milne. 

Should the hand sanitizer be left in a hot car in the sun, the vapor emitted from the mixture would still require an ignition source, such as from a lighter or hot cigarette ash, said Sheridan County Fire Warden Chris Thomas.  

Both Thomas and Milne suggest keeping your hand sanitizer stored in the glove or utility box but only as an extra caution.  

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