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Fire Safety Advice for Home Oxygen Users

Oxygen is a colourless and odourless gas that makes up 21% of air that we breathe.

People can be provided with oxygen in the home if they have a severe respiratory condition. This specialist equipment provides air with increased oxygen either through a nasal cannula or facemask. This equipment includes oxygen cylinders or portable units.

Due to the concentrated oxygen being supplied in to the room and surrounding environment there is an increase in risk if a fire was to start. Added oxygen will increase the intensity of a fire.

Top Tips:

  • Never smoke, or let anyone else smoke whilst oxygen is in use. This includes battery operated alternatives.
  • Keep internal doors open to keep the area well ventilated.
  • Switch off oxygen unit when not in use.
  • Do not smoke whilst in bed.
  • Do not use oxygen equipment near fires or naked flames.
  • Do not cook whilst using oxygen.
  • Do not use paraffin/petroleum based creams such as Vaseline or emollients when using oxygen. Speak to a health professional who will provide you with a safer alternative.
  • Do not use aerosols sprays such as deodorant or hairspray when using oxygen.
  • Wait 30 minutes until you smoke after oxygen use. Ensure the cigarette is extinguished properly. You should also wait 30 minutes before using any other heat source such as the cooker, electric blankets, hair dryer and straighteners.
  • Oxygen tubing should not trail near heat sources.
  • Vehicle use – Switch off oxygen before refuelling or get someone else to help.

When storing your oxygen cylinders, it is important that they are stored in a secured upright position to prevent them from falling over. They should be in a well ventilated, dry space away from any heat sources, paint, oil, grease or any other combustible materials.

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