Oxygen Safety

Over the years oxygen administration has become increasingly common in Assisted Living and Residential Care Communities.  State regulations of course require minimum safety standards be in place when residents are using concentrated oxygen.  Here are some basic safety tips from the National Institutes of Health:

Make sure that you have working smoke detectors. Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher in your home. If you move around the house with your oxygen, you may need more than one fire extinguisher.

Smoking can be very dangerous.

  • No one should smoke in a room where oxygen is in use.
  • Put a NO SMOKING sign in every room where oxygen is being used.
  • In a restaurant, keep at least 6 feet away from any source of fire, such as a stove or fireplace.

Keep oxygen 6 feet away from:

  • Toys with electric motors
  • Electric baseboard or space heaters
  • Wood stoves or fireplaces
  • Electric blankets
  • Hairdryers, electric razors, and electric toothbrushes

Be careful around the kitchen:

  • Keep oxygen away from the stove top and oven.
  • Watch out for splattering grease. It can catch fire.
  • Keep residents with oxygen away from the stove top and oven.

Other safety tips:

  • Do not store oxygen in a trunk, box, or small closet.
  • Keep liquids that may catch fire away from oxygen. This includes cleaning products that contain oil, grease, alcohol, or other liquids that can burn.
  • Do not use Vaseline or other petroleum-based creams and lotions on theresident’s face or upper part of the body.
  • Make sure the oxygen tubing does not create a tripping hazard.

Always follow all applicable regulations when residents are using oxygen in your Community.

2 Responses to “Oxygen Safety”

  1. Regarding the use of oxygen in RCFE setting is there any particular type of oxygen device that is allowed per state regulation? I heard different view regarding this topic and would like a concrete answer regarding this issue in accordance with state regulation. Under which particular topic will this standard fall under ?

  2. Hello Dee. As long as the oxygen use and equipment complies with regulation 87618 you should be ok. As you will see in the regulation, if it is liquid oxygen approval from CCL is required.

    You can find regulation 87618 here: http://www.dss.cahwnet.gov/ord/entres/getinfo/pdf/rcfeman4.pdf

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