The use of hand sanitiser is crucial during the COVID-19 crisis. Public Health England has advised that hand sanitisers with 60% alcohol or higher content are effective against the virus.
A recent safety alert received showed that an employee had touched a metal surface before the alcohol-based sanitiser had evaporated. Due to static electricity the vapour from hand sanitisers ignited in both hands. The person managed to quickly get to a sink to extinguish the flames.
The guidance here is not to stop using alcohol-based sanitisers as these are effective against the virus but merely to raise awareness of its highly flammable properties before evaporation takes place.
Everyone should wash their hands with soap and water if possible. If only alcohol-based hand sanitisers are available, make sure all liquid is evaporated before touching any surfaces and keep away from ignition sources when applying.
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