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Alcohol Hand Gel Safety Alert

23 October 2020

During this unprecedented time where everyone is being extra cautious, and personal hygiene is a key factor in the battle against coronavirus. It is important to understand that the most innocuous of products may cause harm even when you think it is protecting you…!!

Please see below details of an incident which occurred using alcohol hand gel, it is an important learning point for everyone to consider.

Brief Details


An employee of an external company used alcohol based sanitiser as recommended during the Corona pandemic. The person touched a metal surface before the liquid evaporated. Due to static electricity, the vapour from the hand sanitiser ignited with an almost invisible flame on both hands. The person quickly managed to get to a sink to extinguish the flame.


As a result of the incident the person suffered first and second degree burns.

Second Degree burns caused by alcohol hand gel igniting

What went wrong?


Hand sanitiser gels contain high concentrations of alcohol. Once the hand sanitiser is applied, individuals must make sure the gel has suitable time to dry.  In the interest of safety, remember that alcohol vapours can ignite if exposed to an ignition source, such as light switches or cigarette lighters.

Actions to take

• Bring this alert to the attention of all employees who work on your site.

• When using the alcohol-based hand gel sanitisers, ensure the gel is given suitable time to fully dry/evaporate.
• Where alcohol based hand sanitisers are dispensed, display flammable liquid warning sign.
• Continue to follow government advice and continue to wash your hands with soap and water if possible.

Is there an alternative product if I don't have soap and water nearby?

Yes, absolutely!  We offer a range of foam hand sanitisers which kills up to 99.99% of common germs and viruses to prevent cross contamination and have also been specially formulated to be kind to skin, without compromising at all on the high level of efficacy and performance required within healthcare settings.  This luxurious foaming hand sanitiser is alcohol-free and non-flammable, reducing risk for use around vulnerable and dependent patients and visitors. The product is colour free, fragrance-free and is compatible with all the major brands of gloves used in healthcare settings and is ready to use right from the bottle.  Take a look: https://slatersafety.co.uk/Invirtu-Hand-Foam-Sanitiser-30-x-50ml

Invirtu Foam Hand Sanitiser - Alcohol Free Hand Sanitiser