Home Oxygen Safety
Before prescribing oxygen it is important that you carry out a risk assessment to ensure that the patient and, or carer, understands the safety advice around the use of home oxygen, this includes the dangers of smoking cigarettes and e-cigarettes near to their oxygen equipment.
Here are some of the key areas to consider:
To start a fire, three things are needed:
Materials burn much faster in oxygen than in air alone, it is therefore important that patients:
When oxygen equipment is turned on, oxygen can build up unnoticed on materials such as clothing, hair, fabrics, wood and paper. This can cause them to burn more easily if they catch fire. Because of this, patients should:
Patients should ALWAYS follow the advice given to them by their technician about the safest place to store and use their oxygen equipment. It is important that they:
This information applies to all places where patients use or store their equipment, and when travelling with it.
The patient’s details will be shared with the local Fire and Rescue Service so that in the unlikely event of a fire, the Fire and Rescue Services know that there is home oxygen equipment at the address.
The patient may receive a home safety visit from their local Fire and Rescue Service to help manage any risks and plan how to evacuate the building in the event of a fire. It is important that they allow this to take place.
The patient’s technician will provide them with a safe amount of tubing to meet their needs around the home up to a maximum distance of 15 metres.
Patients need to be aware that any oxygen tubing is a potential trip hazard for them and others.
They should ALWAYS:
Take care to ensure their tubing does not get kinked, damaged, trapped in doors or crushed under equipment and furniture as this could affect the flow of their oxygen
Ensure their tubing does not pass close to naked flames including gas fires, gas cookers and candles, or hot items such as, electric cookers and electric heaters. These could damage or melt the tubing and cut off the oxygen supply or even cause a fire