Is Honey Flammable? Here’s What You Need To Know Now

You may have seen videos of people setting honey on fire and wondered, is honey flammable? Is the honey on your kitchen countertop a fire hazard?

In this article, we'll look closely at if and why honey burns and what you must do to stay safe around an open flame and honey.

Is Honey Flammable

Is Honey Flammable?

No, honey isn't flammable. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states that a flammable substance will possess a flash point below 100°F, and pure honey will possess a flash point of around 200°F.

Although it isn't considered flammable according to NFPA standards, it is readily combustible and catches fire quickly. One major test for pure honey is the flammability test, as pure honey should catch fire easily.

What Is Honey?

Honey is a natural substance that bees produce. It is made from nectar and pollen gathered from flowers. The bee's digestive process converts the nectar into honey, and the pollen is used to create the honeycomb wax.

Honey is composed of glucose and fructose, which are simple sugars. It also contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The sweetness of honey comes from the fructose content.

It also has a high water content, which makes it an effective natural humectant (meaning it draws moisture to the skin). Honeybees go from flower to flower, extracting sugary fluids, usually nectar, in pollination.

Honey is obtained when these fluids are made more concentrated in honeycombs. Honey is flammable because it has high sugar content. When sugar is heated, it breaks down to form caramel, which is a flammable substance. Honey will catch fire if it is heated to a high enough temperature.

What Makes Honey Combustible?

Honey is more combustible than other sugars because of its high fructose content. Fructose is a simple sugar usually found in fruits and honey and is highly combustible. The combustibility of honey depends on the fructose content. Therefore, higher sugar content makes it more combustible.

This is why older honey is more flammable because it loses its water content as it ages. And experts say that lighter kinds of honey have higher sugar content than darker honey.

Why Is Honey Flammable

What's The Flash Point Of Honey?

A substance's flash point is the lowest temperature the substance will attain and burn after contact with an ignition source and keep burning even after the source is removed. It measures the degree to which a substance will easily catch fire.

Substances with flash points under 100°F are considered flammable, but substances with flash points above 100°F are considered combustible. For example, the flash point of honey is between 200°F - 300°F (above 100°F); therefore, it's combustible.

Volatile substances like nail polish remover or hand sanitizer evaporate and burn faster. These volatile substances have flash points lower than 100°F. The difference is the temperature or conditions needed for these substances to catch fire, as most combustible liquids need the help of direct flame or higher temperatures. At the same time, you can't keep some flammable substances within 20 meters of an open flame.

How To Put Out A Honey Fire

Firstly, if you're working with flame and honey, especially if you're testing purity, here are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you should make sure the area around you is well-ventilated. Second, always have a fire extinguisher on hand, just in case.

If you mistakenly start a fire, ensure you put it out as quickly as possible, especially with store-bought honey. These packaged kinds of honey usually contain other combustible materials that reduce the honey's flash point and make it ignite at lower temperatures.

Due to the low moisture content of pure honey, it'll burn slowly and keep burning even when you think you've put it out. Ensure you use extinguishing agents like powder, dry chemicals, sand, chemical foam, or carbon dioxide to extinguish the fire. If the fire gets out of control, contact the fire department immediately.

How Often Can Honey Catch Fire?

Honey only catches fire occasionally. Honey is not volatile, so it doesn't vaporize at high temperatures quickly. This reduces the chances of it catching fire spontaneously or self-igniting. But, of course, this doesn't mean that you should go around setting fire to things covered in honey.

It's still combustible and should be treated with caution. If you're working with honey near open flames, take precautions and always have a fire extinguisher on hand, just in case.

How Flammable Is Honey

Safety Precautions For Handling Honey

Take these steps to ensure your safety as well as anyone else working with honey.

Store Your Honey Properly 

Keep your honey in closed containers, especially when not in use. Hiding honey from your kids is a little tricky, especially when they have a sweet tooth. Honey is harmless, but ensure you supervise its use to prevent dangerous experiments from your kids. 

Keep Your Honey Away From Open Flames Or Fire

Your honey won't auto-ignite, but it'll burn and keep burning with a dull flame that's hard to put out. To prevent accidents like this, keep your honey away from heat sources like acids, other combustible materials, open flames, and sparks. You could still use it for baking, though.

Don't Mix Your Honey 

Some honey has higher sugar content than others, and some have combustible materials. The combustibility of honey differs from manufacturer to manufacturer, so combining two different products might not change the taste or quality but produce more combustible honey. 

Final Thoughts

So, is honey flammable? The answer is no – it is combustible. But if you're looking for a way to set fire to something using honey, it won't be easy. Even if you manage to get the honey hot enough to catch fire, the flames will be brief and not very impressive.