Hand Sanitizer And Fireworks Don’t Mix

Experts warn against using hand sanitizer if you’re handling fireworks this Fourth of July. That’s because hand sanitizer usually contains 60 to 70 percent alcohol, which is highly flammable. And fireworks – well, the word “fire” is in the name.

“Alcohol and fire don’t mix,” National Safety Council (NSC) spokesperson Maureen Vogel told CNN. “You shouldn’t go with flammable items, it’s a known recipe for disaster.”

Even fireworks burn at around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 degrees Celsius), making them an easy source of ignition, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The National Safety Council says fireworks should be kept away from all flammable materials.

Handling fireworks shortly after applying hand sanitizer, while alcohol residue is still on your hands, may increase the risk of burns, Dr. Dhaval Bhavsar, medical director of the Burn Center at the University of Kansas Health System Burnett, told local news outlet KSHB.

Because of this risk, both Vogel and Bhavsar recommend washing your hands with soap and water if handling consumer fireworks.

You should also be aware of the overall risk of consumer fireworks, which are illegal in some cities. The National Safety Council advises consumers to avoid using fireworks in their homes. According to the National Safety Council, fireworks cause an average of 18,500 fires each year.

What’s more, fireworks send thousands of people to the emergency room each year. For example, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 10,000 fireworks-related injuries and 12 fireworks-related deaths will be treated in emergency rooms in the U.S. in 2019, with nearly three-quarters of those injuries occurring around the Fourth of July.

For those who decide to use fireworks, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has some safety tips, including never letting young children play with fireworks (including sparklers), never placing any part of your body directly on a firework when lighting a fuse, never pointing or throwing fireworks at anyone, and never trying to relight or dispose of fireworks that are not lit (these (Fireworks should be soaked in water and thrown away).