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.
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 away from:
Be careful with your oxygen when you cook.
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. Why do I need oxygen therapy? http://www.thoracic.org/clinical/copd-guidelines/for-patients/why-do-i-need-oxygen-therapy.php. Accessed on May 8, 2014.
National Home Oxygen Patients Association. Understanding oxygen therapy: a patient guide to long-term supplemental oxygen. http://www.homeoxygen.org/assets/docs/Understanding%20Oxygen%20Therapy%202013.pdf. Accessed on May 8, 2014.
Updated by: Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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