Due to the importance of hand sanitizer in managing the risk of COVID-19, the use and supply of this product has increased exponentially. Employees are carrying hand sanitizer with them, whether it be in purses, backpacks, vehicles, etc.
However, due to its high alcohol content, it is important for employees to be aware of its storage. It is advised against leaving alcohol-based hand sanitizer in a car for long periods of time, as it will reduce its effectiveness.
For hand sanitizer to be effective, the alcohol percentage should be over 60%. If stored in a car for long periods of time with extended exposure to higher temperatures, the alcohol in the sanitizer may eventually evaporate, causing it to lose its efficacy. Therefore, it is advised for employees to refrain from keeping sanitizer in the car for long periods of time.
Additionally, hand sanitizer may constitute a fire risk. Recent news out of the United States has evinced that extreme heat in a car can cause sanitizer to ignite due to the high alcohol content. While the outside temperature may not be extremely hot, the internal temperature of a car will rise significantly beyond that of the outside in a short amount of time. For example, a car in 24-degree heat can rise to 38 degrees within 10 minutes.
With temperatures warming and summer nearing, it is important for employees to ensure they are storing their hand sanitizer correctly.