More and more people are using oxygen therapy outside the hospital, permitting them to lead active, productive lives.
Oxygen helps fire spread fast!
Oxygen increases the speed at which things burn once a fire starts. Home oxygen therapy increases the amount of oxygen in the environment. It will saturate clothing, fabric, hair, beards and anything in the area. Even flame-retardant clothing can burn when the oxygen content increases.
People on home oxygen therapy need to plan and practice home fire drills. Also, make sure the home is equipped with working smoke detectors.
Smoking and home oxygen
People and their families or friends that continue to smoke when there is oxygen in the home increase the risk of a fire that could be deadly. If you or a family member or caregiver smoke in the home when oxygen is present, you should stop immediately.
Oxygen is a drug and must be prescribed by a physician. An exact flow rate given in liters per minute will be ordered by the doctor to increase oxygen level. The flow rate the doctor orders should never be changed without talking to the doctor first.
Safety do not’s
- DO NOT…permit open flames or burning tobacco in the room where the oxygen is being stored or used.
- DO NOT…use any household electric equipment in an oxygen-enriched atmosphere (e.g., an electric razor, electric blanket or heaters).
- DO NOT…use oily lotions, face creams or hairdressings while receiving oxygen.
- DO NOT…use aerosol sprays near oxygen equipment.
- DO NOT…oil or grease oxygen equipment.
- DO NOT…allow oxygen tubing to be covered by any objects.
- DO NOT…leave oxygen equipment on when not in use.
- DO NOT…abuse or handle oxygen containers roughly.
- DO NOT…store oxygen in a confined area such as a closet.
- DO NOT…allow untrained persons to use or adjust equipment.
- DO NOT…attempt to fix or repair oxygen equipment.
- DO NOT…store oxygen containers near radiators, heat ducts, steam pipes or other sources of heat.
- DO NOT…store oxygen near combustible engines such as a car.
- DO NOT…touch frosted systems or piping on liquid systems with your bare hands.
- DO NOT…open cylinder valve quickly.
- DO NOT…transport oxygen in an enclosed area or the trunk of your car.
- DO…transport oxygen in the back seat of your car and secure it properly.
- DO…open your window about one inch when transporting oxygen equipment.
- DO…always have oxygen secured in an oxygen stand, or by a chain or cord.
- DO…call your supplier if you are planning on traveling or transporting your unit.
- DO…post NO SMOKING signs on your doors and have smoke detectors on each floor.
- DO…check the batteries in your smoke detectors every month or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Oxygen concentrator in the home safety
- NO SMOKING signs should be placed in your home on your doors and on the door of the room the concentrator is in.
- Locate smoke detectors on every floor of your home and check the batteries each month.
- DO NOT use extension cords with the oxygen concentrator unit.
- Keep the concentrator at least one foot from the wall, curtains and other obstructions.
- Keep all oil-based products (such as body oils and make-up) away from the unit, tubing, mask and patient when the unit is in use.
- Replace the cannula as needed.
- NEVER operate the concentrator near open flames (stove, fireplace, grill, cigarette, etc.).
- NEVER take a ground plug off a cord so it will plug into a 2-prong outlet.
- DO NOT use household electrical or electrical equipment within five feet of the oxygen unit or patient (e.g, electric razor, electric blanket or electric heater).
- DO NOT store oxygen cylinders in confined spaces such as a closet or car trunk.
- DO have a fire extinguisher in your home.