Home Oxygen Safety

Tips for safe use of oxygen

Oxygen is safe. It works well when used as directed.

  • Use the exact rate of oxygen your doctor tells you to use for each activity. Do not lower or raise the oxygen liter flow without asking your doctor.

  • Do not use products with petroleum on your face (Vaseline, Vicks, ChapStick, A&D ointment). It can cause burns.

  • Never use oil-, grease- or alcohol-based products on equipment.

  • Post "No Smoking" signs near the oxygen.

  • If there is a problem with the equipment, call the service. Never try to repair it yourself.

Fire safety

Oxygen is not flammable (it will not catch on fire or explode), but it may make a fire bigger. Things start on fire more easily or burn faster near oxygen.

Follow these safety tips:

  • Use oxygen in a room that gets plenty of air. Oxygen builds up around the user.

    • Do not use oxygen in a confined space or closet.

    • Do not drape clothing over your oxygen system.

  • Do not smoke within 15 feet of an oxygen source.

  • Keep at least 15 feet away from heat and flames (matches, candles, barbeque grills, fireplaces, furnaces, heaters, stoves).

  • Avoid using items that create sparks (electric heater, razor, hair dryer and friction-powered toys).

  • Have a working smoke detector and fire extinguisher in the home.

  • Have an escape plan for you and your family in case there is a fire.

Concentrator safety

This device removes nitrogen from the air. It delivers almost pure oxygen through a cannula or mask.

  • Be sure your power supply or electrical circuit can support the amount of electricity (amps) needed to run your concentrator.

  • Do not force the plug to fit into your outlet. The concentrator's plug may be grounded (with three prongs) or polarized (one prong slightly wider). Only plug it directly into the same type of wall outlet.

  • Do not use extension cords.

  • Do not use power strips or other multi-outlet adaptors.


  • Store in an open area (not in a closet, cabinet, trunk or other confined space), away from heat and flames.

  • Place tanks in a stand or cart to prevent them from falling.

  • Store extra tanks flat on the floor.

Transporting oxygen

  • Transport oxygen in the passenger compartment of a vehicle (not in the trunk).

  • Lay tanks flat on the floor.


If you have questions about using, cleaning or caring for your equipment, please call:

Fairview Home Medical Equipment
(Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

For urgent needs, please call 952-924-8157 (after 4:30 p.m. or on the weekend).

For informational purposes only. Not to replace the advice of your health care provider.
Copyright © 2015 Fairview Health Services. All rights reserved. SMARTworks 522207 – 03/15.

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