Oxygen makes things burn much faster. Think of what happens when you blow into a fire; it makes the flame bigger. If you are using oxygen in your home, you must take extra care to stay safe.
COPD - oxygen safety; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - oxygen safety; Chronic obstructive airways disease - oxygen safety; Emphysema - oxygen safety; Heart failure - oxygen-safety; Palliative care - oxygen safety; Hospice - oxygen safety
Have Your Home Ready
Make sure you have working smoke detectors and a working fire extinguisher in your home. If you move around the house with your oxygen, you may need more than one fire extinguisher in different locations.
Smoking can be very dangerous.
Keep oxygen 6 feet (2 meters) away from:
Be Careful in the Kitchen
Be careful with your oxygen when you cook.
Other Safety Tips
DO NOT store your oxygen in a trunk, box, or small closet. Storing your oxygen under the bed is OK if air can move freely under the bed.
Keep liquids that may catch fire away from your oxygen. This includes cleaning products that contain oil, grease, alcohol, or other liquids that can burn.
DO NOT use Vaseline or other petroleum-based creams and lotions on your face or upper part of your body unless you talk to your respiratory therapist or doctor first. Products that are safe include:
Avoid tripping over oxygen tubing.
American Thoracic Society website. Oxygen therapy. www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/oxygen-therapy.pdf. Updated April 2016. Accessed February 28, 2018.
COPD Foundation website. Oxygen therapy. www.copdfoundation.org/What-is-COPD/Living-with-COPD/Oxygen-Therapy.aspx. Updated June 2015. Accessed February 28, 2018.
National Fire Protection Association website. Medical oxygen. www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/causes/medical-oxygen. Updated July 2013. Accessed February 28, 2018.
Review Date: 2/18/2018
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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