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Home Oxygen Use

Oxygen is safe when used correctly. When not handled properly, it can be dangerous. It can fuel a fire, causing it to start quickly and to burn hotter and faster. Materials and sparks that would typically not burn can start a fire because of the oxygen in use. It is critical to protecting yourself, those around you, and for you to keep your home safe at all times.

The Equipment:

There are three common ways of providing oxygen therapy. Oxygen can be delivered to your home in the form of a gas in various-sized cylinders or in a liquid vessel. The third way to provide oxygen therapy is by using an oxygen concentrator.

Fire Prevention Tips:

NEVER SMOKE or allow others to smoke where oxygen is being used or stored.

-Place signs on all doors to let visitors and emergency personnel know that oxygen is in use. “No Smoking,” signs should be placed on these same doors as well.

-It is to be stored and set in well-ventilated areas at all times. Not in cabinets, closets, or other confined spaces. Amounts of accumulated gas vented from oxygen units can gather in small spaces and become a fire hazard.

-Keep grease and petroleum products a safe distance from all oxygen equipment. Never use lotion, ointments, or even Chapstick in or around your nose. Oxygen can react with these oily substances and can cause skin burns.  Use water-based products only.

-Never use anything flammable while using oxygen, including cleaning fluid, gasoline, paint thinner, aerosols, or other alcohol-containing sprays.

-Keep oxygen at least five feet from all heat sources or flames, including gas stoves, grills, space heaters, fireplaces, and candles.

-Never use electric razors, hair dryers, or any heat-producing/electrical appliance that contains a motor while you are using oxygen.

-Bedding or clothing made of wool, nylon, or synthetic fabrics should not be used, as they tend to produce static electricity. Use of cotton materials avoids the sparks from static electricity.

-Turn off oxygen, when not in use.

-Keep a working fire extinguisher on hand at all times, and regularly check batteries in all smoke alarms. Practice evacuation plans regularly with all family members and caregivers.

Tank Tips:

-Oxygen tanks should always be stored in a stand or cart to prevent tipping or falling.

-Never allow tanks to lean in an upright position if unsecured.

-Don’t drop, roll, slide, or drag oxygen tanks, nor lift a container by its cap or valve.

-Do not place oxygen tubing under rugs or furniture.

-When transporting oxygen tanks, carry them in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, and the windows should be slightly open to provide ventilation. NEVER leave tanks in a car or trunk, especially during hot weather.

Concentrator Safety:

-Use only adequately grounded wall outlets.

-Never use extension cords.

-Do not plug the concentrator into an outlet that has other appliances plugged into it.

-Ensure use of electrical circuits that meet or exceed the amperage requirements of the concentrator.

Liquid Oxygen Safety:

*Liquid oxygen is very cold and can cause burns if it spills and comes in direct contact with skin.

-Avoid touching any frosted or icy connectors of either the stationary or portable units.

-Avoid contact with any steam of the liquid oxygen while filling the mobile unit.

-Always keep portable and stationary units in an upright position. Do not lay them on their sides.

-When using portable oxygen units in vehicles, open the car windows slightly to provide ventilation.

Oxygen is not flammable, but it can cause other materials that burn to ignite more easily to consume far more rapidly. The result is that a fire involving oxygen can appear explosive-like. Oxygen is of great benefit to those in need of respiratory therapy and needs to be moved with caution and awareness of the potential hazards. For more tips and information on how to keep your home and business safe visit our website @ www.firefighter-pgh.com today!

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