Lady Applied Sanitizer on Her Arms, Caught Fire in Kitchen: Fact Check

Image about Lady Applied Sanitizer on Her Arms, Caught Fire in Kitchen
Lady Applied Sanitizer on Her Arms, Caught Fire in Kitchen


This lady here applied sanitizer on her arms and went to the kitchen to cook. The moment she turn on the stove, her hand caught fire due to the alcohol contained in the sanitizer. All please be careful!

Other Versions

1. Please do not go near stove/fire after applying alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

2. Woman Uses Hand Sanitizer on Arms, Accidentally Sets Limbs on Fire When She Turns Stove On.

Fact Check:

Some messages are doing rounds widely on social media alleging to warn a Lady Applied Sanitizer on Her Arms and Caught Fire in Kitchen later. Accompanying image appears to show badly burnt hands of the person. The claims are mixture of hoax and facts explained here.

About the Claim

The deadly new strain of Coronavirus, COVID-19 became a global pandemic and resulted in panic and shut down of some countries. Health officials suggested people to wear masks and keep their hands clean using soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Alcohol-based Hand sanitizers are more effective in combating viruses when you come in contact with public places. After their prominence grew multi-fold amid the Coronavirus outbreak, a story became viral on social media warning against use of hand sanitizers. It said a lady applied sanitizer on her arms and went to the kitchen to cook. The moment she turned on the stove, her hand allegedly caught fire due to the alcohol content in the sanitizer.

Have Arms Caught Fire Due to Sanitizer?

First, there are no credible news reports confirming such an incident occurred amid Coronavirus pandemic. The accompanying image in story shows uniform, sharp edges on the arms, which does not usually happen in case of fire burns. The neat removal of skin on right hand in fact suggests what you see is most likely part of some skin grafting process.

A Hand Sanitizer comes in the form of a liquid/gel and is generally used to decrease infectious agents on the hands. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are preferable to hand washing with soap and water in most situations in the healthcare setting. It is generally more effective at killing micro-organisms. As a matter of fact, all alcohol based products are potentially flammable and therefore they should be stored away from high temperatures and flames. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer can also catch fire as it is, like shown in latter part of the video below in a Facebook post carrying false warning. The danger depends on the concentration of alcohol content. However, this does not happen usually.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers dry up fast, instantly within seconds. The alcohol content evaporates completely when you rub it over your hands to sanitize. To minimize the fire risk, users are instructed to take small quantity of the liquid/gel and rub evenly until dry. It indicates the flammable alcohol has evaporated. So, users should be bit careful about this while using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. It is also important to store them away from heat sources or open flames. Hand sanitizers in fact carry these warning messages on product labels.

Hoax or Fact:

Mixture of Hoax and Facts.

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