Using oxygen increases the risk of fire and burns.  When oxygen is used in the home, the amount of O2 in the air, furniture, clothing, and hair goes up, making it easier for a fire to start and spread.

The West Bend (WI) Fire Department responded to a residential fire alarm on Saturday July 25th.  The occupant had dropped a cigarette onto the oxygen tubing where it subsequently started on fire.

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 a minimum of 2 ways out of every room and an outdoor meeting place.  Practice the plan at least twice a year.
  • Keep oxygen and tubing 10-feet away from heat sources such as candles, matches, lighters, heaters, wood stoves, 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.


Here is the entire post from the West Bend Fire Department’s Facebook page:

***Smoking while using oxygen is dangerous!***

#20-2216 07/25/2020 03:29

At 3:29 a.m. on Saturday, July 25th, 2020, the West Bend Fire Department was dispatched to a residential fire alarm in the City of West Bend. A West Bend Police Department officer, Engine 1, Truck 2, and Battalion 1 responded to a two family side by side residence. A family member of the occupant was outside speaking to the officer upon arrival of fire department units.

The occupant had dropped a cigarette onto the oxygen tubing where it subsequently started on fire. The occupant stomped out the fire with their feet. While there were burn marks on the socks, luckily the occupant did not suffer any burn injuries. The occupant refused medical attention on the scene.

Please do not utilize smoking materials while using oxygen. The end result of this incident could have been a disaster. UW Hospital Burn Center in Madison had two admissions for burn injuries in March and April of 2020 for people who were burned while smoking and using oxygen. These incidents really do happen, they really cause damage, and they really do cause harm.


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