Calgary & Area News

Calgary Fire Department warns about fire risk from hand sanitizer sold in aluminum containers

CALGARY – The Calgary Fire Department is warning citizens and businesses who have purchased Crisis-Grade Hand Sanitizer Refills, packaged in aluminum cans which were produced by some local breweries and distilleries. These cans were distributed by a variety of businesses and can pose a significant fire risk.

The affected products contain “COVID response emergency hand sanitizer” produced using ethanol and sold in aluminum cans, similar to those containing craft beer. The product has been reported to react with the container, resulting in deterioration and causing release of the product through the bottom and sides of the container. This hand sanitizer is a flammable product and should it leak out of the container and come into contact with an ignition source, could result in a fire.

Anyone who has this type of product should immediately inspect the container for leaks and immediately clean up any product that has leaked out of the container with soap and water.

Upon close inspection, if the container is still intact, transfer any remaining product into a suitable plastic or glass container for further storage. If the container has developed a leak, it is possible that some of the alcohol may have evaporated thus reducing the effectiveness of the hand sanitizer. In this case the product should be transferred  to and sealed in a spill-proof container and ensure it is clearly labeled. It can then be taken to any City of Calgary household hazardous waste drop-off location. Please visit https://www.calgary.ca/uep/wrs/what-goes-where/chemicals-health-care.html for more information.

Ethanol or ethyl alcohol is flammable when exposed to a heat source or open flame. 

The local manufacturer has been notified and has recalled the product however there may be other manufacturers with similar canned products not already identified.