The 10 Basic Safety Guidelines for Oxygen Therapy Use

Proper safety measures are important for you, those around you, and for the life of your oxygen concentrator. An oxygen concentrator, and tanks should be handled as serious medical equipment and delicate electronics in the case of an oxygen concentrator. In short, they should be respected and handled with care. You also need to follow a few simple safety guidelines and keep some things in mind when using your oxygen therapy equipment.

1. Anything that can cause a spark, or any type of source of open heat or flame should be avoided. As a general rule, you should get no closer than 8 feet away from an open source of heat or flame. Even if you see no sparks or flames, something like a space heater can cause a spark of static electricity against the open source of heat. Oxygen itself doesn't combust, but the pure oxygen from your oxygen concentrator, even in a very small amount, will feed a flame extremely quickly and cause a very hot and fast spreading fire.

2. Don't smoke while using your oxygen concentrator, and don't allow anyone to smoke near you. If you have to, leave the area. You shouldn't allow anyone to smoke in your home, and you definitely shouldn't be smoking at all if you are have a lung disease that calls for a need for oxygen therapy. The flame from the cigarette will quickly become a very big flame, fed by the pure oxygen.

3. If you are cooking or even just making toast, don't wear loose fitting clothing or sleeves that drape down, as they will easily catch fire, and once there is a small spark, you're in danger of the oxygen from your concentrator coming in contact with it, and igniting.

4. Avoid using any aerosol products, since these are under pressure, and the chemical will ignite from a spark and catch the oxygen emitted from your oxygen therapy equipment.

5. You should also never allow flammable liquids or any other flammable substance on your clothing while using oxygen therapy. Do not pump gas or use hairspray. Be very careful about using rubbing alcohol, or hand sanitizer, which contains a high amount of rubbing alcohol.

6. Always use your oxygen concentrator in an open, well ventilated area. An oxygen concentrator can quickly deplete a small and closed off area of oxygen. Never run it while things are closely surrounding it, as it can overheat.

7. Be extremely careful how you carry your oxygen tanks. If they fall, and the oxygen valve breaks, it can become a dangerous projectile.

8. Let your electric company know you use oxygen therapy. This places you as first priority for getting your electric back on in an outage, and they will even come to your assistance with emergency power if they can't get your electric back on quickly.

9. Make sure no one can trip over power cords and cannula tubing.

10. Always refer to the manual on proper care for your oxygen equipment, so you can recognize and respond to alarams, as well as maintain the equipment for safety.

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