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The Dos and Don’ts of Using Oxygen

July 09, 2018
Safety Tips to Follow If Oxygen Is Part of Your COPD Treatment

Besides doing as your doctor prescribes, oxygen therapy has its own set of safety guidelines that need to be followed. While oxygen is a safe gas, it is still combustible. Below are strategies for its usage and storage.

Use
  • DO turn off your oxygen when you’re not using it.
  • DON’T use oxygen while
    1. cooking with gas.
    2. using electric appliances such as razors, hair dryers and heating pads.
  • DO use a piece of tubing shorter than 50 feet to avoid tripping over it.
  • DON’T use an extension cord to plug in your concentrator.
  • DON’T plug anything into the same outlet.
  • DO avoid petroleum- or oil-based lotions and creams on your face and upper chest.
  • DON’T use aerosol sprays such as air fresheners and hair spray near the oxygen unit.
  • DO make sure there is no smoking in your home or car when oxygen is in use.
Storage
  • DO keep liquid oxygen units upright. Never place on its side.
  • DON’T store your oxygen in a confined space like a closet or trunk.
  • DO tie oxygen cylinders to fixed objects.
  • DON’T place anything over or on top of your concentrator.
  • DO keep oxygen units several inches away from walls or curtains.
Maintenance
  • DON’T try to fix broken equipment.
  • DO know the safety checks provided by your oxygen supplier. Keep its phone numbers (including emergency contact) near a phone.
  • DO monitor the gauges on your oxygen equipment, and give your oxygen supplier plenty of time to deliver refills.
Preparedness
  • DO have smoke detectors in your home. Make sure they are working. Check them monthly.
  • DO keep a fire extinguisher in your home. Have an escape route planned in case of fire.
  • DO notify the fire department, gas and electric and phone companies when you start receiving oxygen. Ask for a “priority service listing.” This will help when there is a power outage or phone failure.
  • DO have backup equipment, in case of malfunction.