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Watch Out! Essential Oils are Highly Flammable

  • 2000.10.10

The use of essential oils has caused a few fire accidents again. Therefore, the Consumer Council outlines the main points of its earlier test report on essential oils and their vaporisers for consumers' reference.

The Flash Point of a liquid is the lowest temperature at which it will generate sufficient vapour to form an ignitable vapour/air mixture. In general, if a liquid has a flash point below 60° C, it is regarded as a flammable liquid.

Most essential oils have flash points below 60° C and therefore are flammable liquids.

If organic solvents, such as ethanol or isopropanol (flash point below 13° C ), is added to products of essential oils, the products would become even more flammable.

To avoid fire accidents, users of essential oils must be very careful.

Pay attention to the followings when you store essential oils:

  1. Store essential oils in a cool and shady place.

  2. Store them in dark glass bottle, and keep them away from direct sunlight.

  3. Keep them out of reach of children.

  4. Lock them well in cupboards or boxes.

  5. Do not store essential oils in large quantity.

When you use essential oils, bear in mind the followings:

  1. Keep the essential oils away from naked flame or heat source such as stoves or cigarettes.

  2. Keep the room well ventilated.

  3. Some essential oils may induce abortion or penetrate into the embryo and endanger the foetus. Therefore pregnant women should consult their physicians before using products containing essential oils.

Pay attention to the followings when you use essential oil vaporisers:

  1. Don't put the vaporiser near flammable materials such as paper, cloth curtains, etc.

  2. Put the vaporiser on flat and stable place but not at windy positions such as places near windows so to avoid being overturned by wind.

  3. Put off the flame before adding oil to the vaporiser.

  4. When the flame is on, always stay near the vaporiser so that you could notice it when an accident happens.

Pay attention to the followings when you use electrical essential oil vaporisers:

  1. Ceramic vaporisers tend to be cracked more easily. If you find any cracks on a vaporiser, don't use it.

  2. When a vaporiser is in use, don't touch the surface of it and the water or essential oil in it.

  3. Don't add too much water to the vaporisers so as to avoid the water from overflowing and thus make the outside of the vaporisers or the power cords wet.

  4. When you finish using the vaporiser, remove the oil and water. This is to avoid wetting of the outside of vaporiser or the power in case the vaporiser is accidentally overturned.

  5. Don't keep the vaporisers on for a long time, turn it off when not in use.