Home Oxygen Brochure Image

What You Need to Know about Home Oxygen

  • Using home oxygen increases the risk of fires and burns.
  • When oxygen is used in the home, the amount of oxygen in air, furniture, bedding, clothing and hair goes up, making it easier for a fire to start and spread.
  • When more oxygen is in the air, fires burn hotter and faster.
  • Keep oxygen and tubing 10 feet away from heat sources such as candles, matches, lighters, heaters, woodstoves, electric razors, hair dryers, cooking stoves, and smoking materials.
  • Do not use petroleum-based products such as oil-based lip balms or lotions. They catch fire easily.
  • Between 2005 and 2014, there were 16 deaths and 47 injuries in Massachusetts fires where home oxygen was used. Smoking caused most of these fires. These fires also caused 6 firefighter injuries.

Protect Yourself from Home Oxygen Fires

If you or a loved one uses home oxygen:

  • Do not smoke.
  • Make sure the home has working smoke alarms. Test them monthly.
  • Have a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and an outdoor meeting place. Practice the plan at least twice a year.

Until You Quit Smoking

There is no safe way to smoke around home oxygen. Turning off the oxygen is not enough because your clothes, hair, bedding and the tubing are oxygen-enriched. Until you can quit smoking, disconnect the oxygen, wait ten minutes and go outside to smoke. This is not a safe way to smoke, but it allows oxygen time to come off your hair and clothes, and lowers the danger of fire.

Educational Materials on Home Oxygen Safety

The Department of Fire Services has the following resources:

Need Help to Quit Smoking?

Many tools are available to help smokers quit. Ask your doctor. For free help, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at www.trytostop.org or call the Smoker’s Helpline at:

  • 1-800-Try-to-Stop (1-800-879-8678)
  • 1-800-833-5256 (Espaňol)
  • 1-800-833-1477 (TDD)

Additional Home Oxygen Safety Information

Studies on the Dangers of Home Oxygen Use