HC Deb 26 July 1897 vol 51 cc1071-2
MR. WOOTTON ISAACSON (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been called to the death, by fire, of a lady in a hairdresser's shop, while having her hair dressed with a preparation known as Petrole, or dry shampoo; whether he is aware that this dangerous preparation is composed of rectified petroleum and ether, which gives off a vapour which will catch fire from a distant light, or the action of the sun; and, whether he will adopt means to put a stop to the sale of these dangerously inflammable preparations?


Yes, Sir, my attention has been called to this accident. I am informed that the inquest has been adjourned for further evidence as to the precise character of the preparation and other matters; and I am unwilling to anticipate the conclusions of the jury by expressing any opinion at present, either as to the causes of the accident, or as to the necessity winch it may show to exist for taking further measures in regard to substances of this character. If however it is found, as I understand seems likely, that the preparation was largely composed of petroleum spirit, it falls of course within the provisions of the Petroleum Acts. I may add that the County Council, as the local authority under those Acts are giving careful attention to the subject, and are represented at the inquest. The hon. Member is no doubt well aware that the present law with regard to petroleum is in a very unsatisfactory state.