Scott Fire Department shares safe ways to sanitize PPE

Posted at 5:13 AM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 06:13:52-04

As thousands on Facebook reshare posts advising sanitizing masks in the microwave, the Scott Fire Department is asking that you do not take this route.

"Most people don't realize that in the majority of the masks there's a metal strip above where your nose goes, so the problem we're having is people are sticking these masks in the microwave 2 to 3 minutes and the metal heating up and catching the masks on fire," says Chief Chad Sonnier.

And the fire, he adds, can continue to spread from there.

"A lot of times people put microwaves on the cabinets. They get into the cabinet area, extend to the attic, and it's basically a full blown house fire at that point."

There are safer and more effective ways to sanitize face masks over and over again, without putting anyone or anything in harm's way.

"DHS recommends putting it in the washing machine on a warm cycle then letting it air dry rather than putting it in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes," says Sonnier.

Do not put those masks in a dryer after machine washing. For mask sanitation tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

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