When you have a health condition, like COPD, or are needing to undergo oxygen therapy for a specific period of time, it is crucial that you know what steps to take to keep yourself and your home safe. Oxygen itself may be non-flammable and safe, but it can support combustion. This means that oxygen helps items ignite easier, and burn faster and hotter. Here are a few things you should know regarding home oxygen safety:
1. Avoid Smoking Near the Oxygen Tank.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 89 percent of reported deaths in home fires with oxygen use are a result of smoking. Therefore, it is crucial that you never smoke around your oxygen tank. In fact, it is probably best that you stop smoking altogether in order to avoid worsening your respiratory condition. In addition, you need to make sure that no one else in the home smokes around you or the oxygen. When oxygen is going to be in use, make sure there is a NO SMOKING sign posted where it can easily be seen.
2. Keep the Petroleum Away As Well.
The American Lung Association reports that individuals using oxygen at home should keep any type of cream or lotion away from the oxygen that may contain petroleum. These products are far more likely to catch fire, especially when exposed to excessive oxygen, as petroleum contains a mixture of elements that are extremely flammable. Therefore, the ALA suggests using water-based products only.
3. Always Turn the Oxygen Off When It Isn't Being Used.
If you are not actively using the oxygen, make sure that it is in the off position. Otherwise, you run the risk of accidentally causing a home fire, such as by lighting a cigarette and forgetting that the oxygen system is on.
4. Let Your Electric Company Know of Your Oxygen Use.
If you are dependent on oxygen, it is crucial that you have electricity to run your oxygen. What would you do if the power went out? Do you have a generator in place? If not, you should get one. If you can't afford one, you may want to consider talking to your electric company about your dependency to see if there is any type of service that they can offer you. They may be able to provide a generator when the power goes out and put you toward the front of the line for power restoration.
If you have any questions regarding home oxygen use or would like more tips on staying safe while using oxygen, speak to Home Medix Inc or your local oxygen supplier.