Fire hazard with emollient skin products on dressings and clothing

Emollient skin products in contact with dressings and clothing are easily ignited with a naked flame or a cigarette.

If you are being treated with an emollient product which is covered by a dressing or clothing, there is a danger that smoking, or using a naked flame could cause your dressing or clothing to catch fire.

To stop this happening it is very important that you do the following:

  1. Do not smoke, use naked flames (or be near people who are smoking or using naked flames) or go near to anything else which may cause a fire whilst these products are in contact with your clothes, dressing or bandages.
  2. Ensure that your clothes and bedding are changed regularly (preferably daily) as the emollient soaks into the fabrics and can potentially be a fire hazard. You should also be careful to make sure that the emollient does not soak into chairs, seating or other furniture.
  3. Tell your relatives or carers about your treatment and show them this information.
  4. Tell your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you normally smoke. They will be able to offer you help and advice to stop smoking.

Your treatment is important, but it is essential that you are kept safe when you use these products. By following this advice, you will help us to make sure that you are treated safely. Please speak to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you have any questions about this information.

Useful resources

Information for patients and public

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service information video about the potential fire risks so that paraffin-based skin products are used safely and everyone stays safe and well within their home.

WATCH: Do you know the risk - Paraffin based skin products

Information leaflet with guidance and advice for patients and public.

Patient information leaflet

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Information for healthcare professionals

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service information video aimed at medical professionals and carers, which highlights the potential fire hazards associated with paraffin-based skin products.

WATCH: Paraffin-Based Skin Products

Poster providing MHRA guidance for healthcare professionals.

Health care professional poster

In order to view PDF documents you will need Adobe PDF Reader