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Fire hazard associated with paraffin based products emollients and creams

The emollient products such as creams, sprays, liquids or gels are safe to use and vital for skin conditions that they treat. The danger exists when residue of the products gets onto fabrics, bedding, clothing and bandages. This dried residue will make the fabric more flammable.

  • The risk of paraffin-free emollient products should not be excluded as initial tests indicate the risk is similar to paraffin-based emollients.
  • If you are prescribe and apply these products your GP should make you aware as a patient  about the fire risks.
  • If you have been switched to a lower paraffin product or a paraffin-free alternative please be aware that this will not reduce the risk.
  • People using products should not go near to naked flames, smoking materials, cookers and heaters.
  • Keep away from anyone else that is smoking if there is any risk of fabric contamination.
  • Washing fabrics at the highest temperature recommended on the fabric care label will reduce the emollient residue but may not totally remove it. Therefore remain cautious and stay away from fire.

You can watch this 10 minute video produced by West Yorkshire Yorkshire Fire Brigade.

If you have any concerns please speak to your GP or Practice Nurse in the Practice.