Portable medical oxygen in the home has grown over the past decade. Medical oxygen adds a higher percentage of oxygen to the air a patient uses to breath. Fire needs oxygen to burn. If a fire should start in an oxygen-enriched area, the material burning will burn more quickly. Homes where medical oxygen is used need specific fire safety rules to keep people safe from fire and burns.
16.1.1 A patient on oxygen should not smoke.
16.1.2 Never smoke in a home where medical oxygen is used. Medical oxygen can cause material to ignite more easily and make fires burn at a faster rate than normal. It can make an existing fire burn faster and hotter.
16.1.3 Post “No Smoking” and “No Open Flames” signs inside and outside the home to remind residents and guests not to smoke.
16.1.4 Keep oxygen cylinders at least 5 feet (1.5 meters) from a heat source, open flames, or electrical devices.
16.1.5 Body oil, hand lotion, and items containing oil and grease can easily burn. Keep oil and grease away from where oxygen is in use.
16.1.6 Never use aerosol sprays containing combustible materials near the oxygen.
16.1.7 If medical oxygen or an oxygen tank is used in the home, the amount of oxygen in the air, furniture, clothing, hair, and bedding can increase, making it easier for a fire to spread. This means that there is a higher risk of fires and burns.
16.1.8 Never use a candle, match, lighter, or other open flame; a fireplace, stove, or other device fueled by gas, kerosene, wood, or coal; or a sparking toy when medical oxygen is in use. Medical oxygen can cause material to ignite more easily and make fires burn at a faster rate than normal. It can make an existing fire burn faster and hotter.