Medical Oxygen

Homes where medical oxygen is used need specific fire safety rules to keep people safe from fire and burns.

About Medical Oxygen

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 breathe. Fire needs oxygen to burn. If a fire should start in an oxygen-enriched area, the material burning will burn more quickly.

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.
  • Body oil, hand lotion and items containing oil and grease can easily ignite. Keep oil and grease away where oxygen is in use.
  • Never use aerosol sprays containing combustible materials near the oxygen.


  • Oxygen saturates fabric covered furniture, clothing, hair and bedding, making it easier for a fire to start and spread.
  • Smoking materials is the leading heat source resulting in medical oxygen related fires, injuries and deaths.
  • Post No Smoking and No Open Flames signs in and outside the home to remind people not to smoke.