Oxygen Safety

Cylinder Oxygen Safety Precautions

Oxygen is very safe to use when you create the proper environment. Oxygen will not explode or burn but it will increase the flammability of objects near the concentrated oxygen. It will also cause anything that is burning to burn hotter and faster. Be sure to have a functioning smoke detector and fire extinguisher in your home and remember to change the batteries regularly. A good method to remember is to change your smoke detector batteries every spring and fall with the time change.

By using the following safety rules, you will create a safe environment when you use your oxygen:

HEAT – Keep all oxygen equipment, including tubing and cannulas, at least 10 feet away from any source of heat. Common heat sources to be concerned with are: any open flames, stoves, space heaters, furnaces, radiators, candles, incense, windows exposed to direct sunlight, smoking pipes, cigars and cigarettes.

COOKING SAFEGUARDS – Do not cook with a gas or electric stove while using oxygen. It is best to use a microwave oven or make other arrangements for your meals.

SMOKING – For your health and safety, as well as keeping the equipment in good working order, smoking should not be permitted in the same room where oxygen is in use or stored. You will be provided with “NO SMOKING” signs that should be placed at the main entrance of the residence as well as the room where oxygen is primarily used and stored. Even if there is no smoking in your residence, the placement of the signs will alert emergency responders of the presence of oxygen equipment in the home.

PETROLEUM PRODUCTS – Never use grease, oil or other petroleum products on or near any oxygen equipment, including tubing and cannulas. Flammable materials such as oil, grease, aerosols, paint, gasoline and solvents could ignite and burn when introduced to oxygen. Never use wax or furniture polish on or near any oxygen equipment. Under certain conditions, it is possible for oil based toiletries with a spark from an electrical appliance, such as a hair dryer, electric razor or heating pad, to ignite when combined with concentrated oxygen. Simply using oil based hair products, hand lotions or petroleum jelly (Vaseline) when handling oxygen equipment can place you at risk. Use only water based cosmetics or creams.

CYLINDER STORAGE & STABILITY – Do not store oxygen cylinders in a small, unventilated area such as a closet or car trunk. Any venting oxygen could create a fire hazard even in a large, unventilated area. Oxygen cylinders need to be secured in a stand or cart at all times to keep from falling over. The weight of the cylinder can damage property and people if it were to fall on someone or something. If the cylinder neck or valve were broken or damaged, the high pressure being released can cause it to move about in a destructive and uncontrolled manner. If a stand or rack is not available, the cylinder must be stored lying down in a location where they cannot be damaged or present a tripping hazard.

HOME ADDRESS – Make sure that your home address can be easily seen from the street both day and night. Please ensure that the numbers are easy to spot and read from the street. This will aid not only delivery personnel, but also local emergency services in locating your residence easily.

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