Aerosol Safety

Produced by the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association in association with RoSPA
Produced by the British Aerosol
Manufacturers' Association in
association with RoSPA

As with all products, it is important to read and follow the instructions:

Aerosols are pressurised so please remember:

A picture of an aerosol.
  • Do not put aerosols on a bonfire, even when they are empty, because they will explode and may cause injury
  • Do not pierce aerosols, even when they are empty, because there is always some pressure, and possibly some of the product left. It may be flammable or cause injury if you pierce the can
  • Keep aerosols out of the sun and in a cold dry place away from heat. The pressure inside the can increases greatly in the heat and may cause it to burst
  • You should never keep aerosols inside cars because even in winter temperatures can rise quickly. You should keep them in the boot.

Aerosols contain a concentrated product so:

  • You only need to use them in short bursts unless the instructions say otherwise
  • If you are using them in a confined space, like a cupboard or under the sink, two or three second bursts should be enough. Make sure that you open windows or doors afterwards
  • Do not spray aerosols near your eyes as the contents may irritate them.

The contents of an aerosol may be flammable so:

  • Do not spray it on, or near a naked flame or fire
  • Do not smoke when you are using an aerosol or just afterwards
  • Do not spray near any heat or source of ignition (such as a pilot light or candle)
  • keep aerosols away from children.

Aerosol abuse

A picture of an aerosol.

Volatile Substance Abuse, often called "sniffing" or solvent abuse, is extremely dangerous and can kill instantly. Some young people do this to get intoxicated on the fumes of these products.

The wide range of products which are abused are readily available in the homes and shops. They include:

  • Butane lighter fuels
  • Aerosols
  • Adhesives.

Advice on solvent abuse is available from the National Drugs Helpline "Talk to Frank" on 08000 776600 or by emailing or the Re-Solv freephone national helpline on 0808 800 2345.

British Aerosol Manufacturers' Association, 1 Viewpoint, Office Building, Babbage Road, Stevenage, SG1 2EQ Telephone: +44 (0)20 7828 5111, Fax: +44 (0)1438 748822 Email: Web site:

RoSPA cannot be held responsible for the accuracy or completeness of any pages on linked websites.

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