Don’t use hand sanitizer before setting off fireworks, doctors warn

Don’t use hand sanitizer before setting off fireworks, doctors warn

As millions of people across the U.S. prepare for Fourth of July celebrations this weekend, local doctors are issuing a warning regarding setting off fireworks: don’t use hand sanitizer beforehand.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the hand sanitizer that is best for killing the coronavirus has at least 60% alcohol. Doctors say it takes at least 30 seconds to dry, but the alcohol stays on your hands, making it a burn risk.

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That, experts warn, is the danger of setting off fireworks in your backyard during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the help of a fire expert, Channel 11 demonstrated just how flammable hand sanitizer can be. It really burns when using 80% or 60% alcohol sanitizer, and an alcohol wipe catches on fire very quickly.

“We see a number of fireworks injuries regardless of having hand sanitizer. This year with everything for COVID, all of us taking precautions to keep hands clean, it’s something you have to be very aware of. It’s flammable and can cause significant injuries,” said Dr. Brent Rau, a doctor for Allegheny Health Systems.

Rau said alcohol does evaporate pretty quickly, but it depends on how much sanitizer you use and how much alcohol is in it.

Also, your hands have to be pretty dry.

Doctors recommend that if you are handling fireworks, consider fireproof gloves to be safe.

Scranton mayor asks residents to not set off fireworks during holiday weekend