Oxygen Safety 101
Posted on Oct 10, 2016
General In-Home Oxygen Safety:
- Place and maintain smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors throughout the house.
- Every home should be equipped with a fire extinguisher suitable for home environment.
- Avoid using extension cords, particularly with medical equipment.
- Do not overload electrical outlets with multiple pieces of equipment.
- Do not use anything electrical if cords are frayed or cracked.
- Electrical devices should be plugged into a properly grounded outlet.
- Ensure bathroom safety by making sure all bathtubs and showers are equipped with non-skid mats or abrasive strips.
- Have at least one telephone located where it can be easily accessed in the event of an accident.
- Develop and practice an emergency evacuation plan in the event of a fire or disaster.
Oxygen Equipment-Specific Safety:
- Oxygen is a drug and should be used ONLY as directed by your physician.
- Oxygen is a flammable gas that will accelerate combustion.
- Do not use oxygen around open flames such as candles, a fireplace, and stove burners.
- Absolutely no smoking near oxygen equipment or the person using oxygen.
- When going outside the home, be sure to carry plenty of ‘back up’ including spare nasal cannula.
- Carefully check battery life when traveling away from home or away from electrical power.
- Be cognizant of battery life potential.
- Read your owner’s manual and know the proper equipment maintenance.
- Properly maintain the equipment and have it checked or serviced if necessary.
Traveling with Oxygen:
- When traveling by air or train, be sure to check with the carrier in advance for any requirements they may have regarding your oxygen.
- It is advisable to bring along a prescription for your oxygen when traveling.
- In the event of an emergency, you may need a prescription to obtain emergency supplies, service on your existing equipment, and medical treatment by healthcare providers. Keep oxygen equipment secure when traveling by car.
- When staying in a hotel or someone else’s home, follow the oxygen equipment specific safety instructions.
- Be sure to carry along phone number and contact info for Fresh Air Medical, as well as your local oxygen provider, physicians, and family/caregivers.