OSF Home Care Services

Home Oxygen Safety

OSF HealthCare offers integrated, streamlined care from the hospital to your home. We’re focused on your best recovery while keeping you and your family safe.

Home oxygen therapy is extremely effective, but portable medical oxygen tanks and oxygen concentrators add an increased risk for fire in the home. That’s because fire needs oxygen to burn, and any material that catches fire will burn much more quickly due to the increased levels of pure oxygen.

This can put patients, visitors and emergency responders in danger. That’s why we educate all our patients on oxygen safety. We also work with the patients to help them fill out the paperwork to meet state requirements, as well as notify local emergency responders about the use of oxygen in their home.

Ultimately, we recognize that the best way to stay safe is for everyone to be aware. These safety tips are important for anyone who will be near home oxygen therapy to know.

Safety Tips

  • No smoking. A patient on oxygen should never smoke. Smoking while on oxygen is a 100% danger to the patient and anyone nearby.
  • No e-cigarettes/vaporizing with medical oxygen. These have a “spark” within and can ignite.
  • Always keep oxygen cylinders at least five feet from gas stoves, candles, electrical devices or other heat sources.
  • Do not use oil, grease, or petroleum-based lotions or creams near the oxygen equipment. These materials are highly flammable and will easily burn when near oxygen.
  • Do not use electric razors, candles, sparking toys or other potential ignition sources while using oxygen.
  • Always secure your home oxygen tank in a fixed position when at home, or in a safe position when using portable oxygen in public.
  • Draping a blanket over an oxygen concentrator or hiding it in a confined space like a closet allows for a dangerous buildup of pure oxygen.


  • Oxygen saturates hair, bedding, clothing and other nearby materials. This makes it extremely easy for a fire to start and spread.
  • Family members, home visitors and caretakers must also follow every home oxygen safety tip.