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Medical oxygen and fire

The air is normally 21% oxygen. Oxygen is not flammable, but fire needs it to burn. When more oxygen is present, any fire that starts will burn hotter and faster than usual. More oxygen in the air means that things such as hair, plastic, skin oils, clothing, and furniture can catch fire at lower temperatures.

Video: Safety tips for the safe use of medical oxygen.

Medical oxygen in the home safety tips
  • There is no safe way to smoke in the home when oxygen is in use. A patient on oxygen should not smoke. 
  • Candles, matches, wood stoves and even sparking toys, can be ignition sources and should not be used in the home. 
  • Keep oxygen cylinders at least five feet from a heat source, open flames or electrical devices

NFPA report: Fires and Burns Involving Home Medical Oxygen (2008)