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Car Wash Safety Tip: Be Careful With Certain Cleaning Chemicals

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Working in a car wash isn’t the most dangerous job, but it is important to remember basic safety regulations in any workplace. Precautions should double when working with potentially hazardous materials. Detailing shops are full of chemicals and other materials that may catch fire or be irritating to come in contact with. For a car wash in Canada, these standard tools were the source of a horrible accident just this past week.

Three people were injured at a car wash in Red Deer, Canada, when a flammable liquid exploded inside the detailing bay of the car wash. The liquid the men were working with was a liquid vinyl protector, which they were transferring from an old bottle to a new one. According to Platoon Chief Sheldon Christensen, men inside the detailing bay were working with open flame when the tire cleaner was exposed, causing the explosion. Another report says two of the men are employees of the car wash, and one was visiting the men at work.

Liquid vinyl protector is a product which contains naphtha, a flammable oil made through the distillation of petroleum. An important part of car detailing, it is important to remember the safety precautions surrounding tire cleaners and other popular detailing materials. Products like this should be kept sealed and away from sparks or flames at all times.

The three men suffered severe chemical burns and two were taken to the hospital in life threatening condition, and the third with serious injuries. Platoon Chief Christensen noted that the amount of liquid left in the barrel that the men were working with was very small, though it caused quite a large explosion, proving that any amount of flammable liquid can be dangerous in proximity to flames or sparks. The fire was put out by the owner of the car wash before officials arrived, and the damage to the property was not very significant. The Platoon Chief expressed his sympathies for the situation, saying, “when it involves people that’s the worst thing. Buildings and stuff can be replaced, but three people burned, those are debilitating injuries.”

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