The UAE is set to get back to normal life obeying all health precautions from the health department. Usage of face masks and hand sanitizers are mandatory to prevent the spread of Covid-19. With the rising temperatures in the Emirates, the Abu Dhabi Police have issued fresh warnings about the dangers of leaving hand sanitizers inside vehicles.
The cops said hand sanitizers and gloves are flammable and if they are left under direct sunlight or kept inside vehicles for a long time during hot weather, they can catch fire.
“Sanitizers contain alcohol components that are flammable and shouldn’t be left inside cars. People should be careful and adhere to the requirements of fire safety,” said authorities.
“If sanitizers are exposed to the sun or high temperature when left inside the vehicles, it could lead to explosion and causing fire,” said police.
The force also urged drivers not to completely close the car windows, especially when parked directly under the sun. Motorists were also told not to leave other flammable materials, such as perfume and lighters, inside vehicles.
Hand sanitizers that can deactivate the coronavirus have 70 percent ethanol content – and this makes them flammable, according to Jude Medard, a safety, health, and environment expert in the UAE.
“Generally, ethanol has a significantly lower boiling point and lower vapor pressure than water which means it evaporates much faster than water,” Medard detailed.
Residents were also told to avoid exposing hand sanitizers and gloves to open flames, especially in the kitchens. Police advised families not to come near open flames in a kitchen immediately after using hand sanitizers.
“Parents should educate children and other family members on the risks of sanitizers and how they should protect themselves while in the kitchens”, said the police.
On a very hot day, significant pressure could build up inside a bottle of hand sanitizer, causing the container to rupture but the result wouldn’t be a combustion-type scenario. “But if there is a source of ignition, like a naked flame or static electricity and the expelled material caught fire, that would cause a good deal of damage,” he said.
The police have also warned residents against dumping used face masks and gloves on the streets and at public facilities.
Abu Dhabi Police said some people also have a habit of throwing used masks and gloves out of the car windows, which is a violation of traffic laws. “The masks and gloves that have been used are contaminated and may lead to the spread of diseases,” police said, adding that people should have good manners and avoid such bad behavior in order to protect the environment.
The masks and gloves also pose a threat to public health and destroy the environment. Officers said people caught dumping waste such as masks and gloves on roads would face a Dh1,000 fine and six traffic points.