NHS Property Services warned staff about the dangers of leaving alcohol-based hand gel to overheat in cars, however the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) said there have been “no cases of such fires in the UK” and that sanitiser in cars does not pose a fire risk.

In an internal memo, NHS Property Services stated that there was a "number of reports of hand sanitiser being the cause of fires when left in vehicles in the hot weather the UK is currently experiencing".

The internal memo informed employees that the heatwave could cause alcohol-based gels to reach their "flashpoint", which would see them burst into flames when the vapour in them comes into contact with hot air.

The NFCC responded, saying “hand sanitiser kept in cars does not pose a fire risk”. The risks associated with hand sanitisers in vehicles only become apparent when in contact with a spark.

Following up, NHS Property Services said: "With the hot summer approaching, there was a concern for our facilities management staff who would be transporting this material. This decision to raise awareness across colleagues was made in good faith.

"We will be issuing a formal alert to our frontline teams to clarify this situation."

Last reviewed 29 June 2020