Hand Sanitiser Fire

Pallets containing hand sanitisers caught fire in Los Angeles. HAZMAT crews were sent to downtown Los Angeles to deal with the fire.

The ethanol based hand sanitiser is lighter than water and when trying to extinguish the fire with water the ethanol was carried down the pallets and continue to burn from the inside out/bottom up. The decision was made to let the fire burn out and to control the fire with foam to protect surrounding property.

A few pointers can be taken away from this:

  1. Know the substance you are dealing with (The Safety Data Sheet will provide you with a substantial amount of information).
  2. Base you action on the information required (i.e. can we use water to extinguish the fire).
  3. Adjust your approach based on the situation at hand.

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Watch the video here