Portable oxygen solutions offer a wide array of benefits for those with chronic lung disease. It allows for the mobility and independence you crave to work outside your home, travel and participate in social activities.
While the purpose of oxygen therapy is to ease your symptoms and make daily life easier, it demands a few safety precautions. The COPD Foundation offers 10 safety tips to keep in mind while on oxygen therapy.
Preventing Fire Hazards While on Oxygen Therapy
- Stay at least 8 to 10 feet away from open flames or sparks, including a gas stove, fireplace and candles. Although not widely known, electric razors sometimes spark, so you shouldn't use oxygen while shaving with these devices. Check with your provider and the user manual for additional safety information.
- Don’t smoke and don’t allow others to smoke around you.
- Avoid wearing long sleeves or loose-fitting clothing while cooking, and stand back from hot surfaces as much as possible.
- Avoid use of aerosol products.
- Don’t allow flammable liquids to get on your clothing.
Other Safety Tips
- Keep your oxygen concentrator out in the open. Running it in a small space, such as a closet, could cause heat to build up and deplete the small area of oxygen rather quickly.
- Carry your oxygen cylinders securely so they can’t slip and fall. A damaged valve on a fallen cylinder could turn it into a dangerous projectile.
- Inform your electric company that you're on oxygen therapy. This puts you first in line for power restoration after an outage. It may also allow you to negotiate a lower rate to make operating your concentrator more affordable.
- Position oxygen hoses carefully so they don’t become a tripping hazard.
- Take proper care of equipment so it functions the way it should at all times.
When used correctly, oxygen therapy is not only safe, but also necessary for some with chronic lung disease to experience comfortable day-to-day living. To learn more about the right portable oxygen solution for you, please download the free guide, "Choose the Right Portable Oxygen Solution for You."
Photo Credit: Sean Dreilinger