Coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to practice social distancing along with the use of sanitizer and masks. It is equally important to clean & disinfect your vehicles. Now that the lockdown is being eased and people are being permitted to commute from one place to another, it is important to make sure that we don’t become a carrier of the virus by sitting in our car and bike. People have realized that masks and sanitizers would remain an essential part of their survival kits in the near future too. While sanitizers are an important aspect for everyone right now, they have also proved to be dangerous for life. There has been news in the past of sanitizers causing a fire in the car on a hot sunny day primarily because it is made up of alcohol that is extremely flammable.
Recently, in Gujarat, a 110-125 cc segment bike caught fire during sanitization. This is the first incident where a bike got fire. An individual was getting his bike sanitized when it suddenly caught fire. However, the person managed to escape the situation. A social media handle named Viralbhiyani has made the video of this incident viral on social media.
It is highly unlikely that the sanitizer can cause a fire on its own. The auto-ignition temperature of ethyl alcohol in sanitizer is 363-degree centigrade. Auto-ignition temperature is the lowest temperature at which any substance ignites spontaneously in a normal atmosphere without an external source of ignition, such as a flame or spark. The sanitizer bottle kept in the car is not airtight then the vapors will keep on accumulating inside the closed car and it will become like a gas chamber. Then all it will take to start a fire is a small spark that can be from the ignition or even horn.
It is highly advisable that we should be careful while sanitizing our vehicles. Safety guidelines about sanitizers clearly state that it should be stored in a cool, well-ventilated place with the container tightly closed. Also, if you have a tendency to clean everything using a sanitizer including car keys to ward off coronavirus, then wait for a few seconds and allow it to dry completely before turning on the ignition. Also, if sanitizers are exposed to extreme heat then its chemical composition will get altered, thus diluting its disinfectant properties.
Source- True Scoop