Home Oxygen Therapy

In Greater Manchester thousands of people benefit from home oxygen therapy to treat conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema, cystic fibrosis, chronic asthma, lung cancer and other lung disorders.

The home oxygen therapy provider for Greater Manchester is Baywater Healthcare (external website), who provide oxygen cylinders and other equipment to patients.

When used correctly, home oxygen therapy is safe. However, oxygen can build up unnoticed. If the air becomes oxygen-rich, materials such as bedding, clothes, hair, or furnishings, which normally do not burn easily in air, could catch fire if they come into contact with a spark or ignition source, such as a lit cigarette.

If you are benefitting from home oxygen therapy, follow our fire safety advice:

Use your home oxygen therapy safely

  • Never smoke, or let anyone else smoke near you, when using your home oxygen equipment. Never smoke in bed.
  • Never cook with gas or an open flame while using your home oxygen.
  • Never use home oxygen equipment near open fires, naked flames or candles.
  • Never charge or use any electrical appliances, such as electric razors, hairdryers or electronic cigarettes, whilst using your home oxygen equipment.
  • Oxygen will remain in clothing for up to 20 minutes after the home oxygen equipment has been turned off. Always ventilate your clothing in the open air for at least 20 minutes after using your home oxygen, before smoking or going near an open flame or source of ignition. If your clothes are saturated with oxygen, contact with a spark can start a fire.
  • Take care when home oxygen tubing is trailing behind you and around your feet, especially when moving around the home and on staircases.
  • Don’t allow the home oxygen tubing to pass close to naked flames including gas fires and cookers and candles, or hot items such as electric cookers or heaters.
  • If there is any risk that your clothes, bedding or bandages are contaminated with emollient products, such as creams, don’t smoke, or go near naked flames, smoking materials, cookers, heaters or other ignition sources. If paraffin-based or paraffin-free emollient products get onto fabrics, the dried residue will make the fabric more flammable.

Use and store your home oxygen therapy equipment safely

  • Make sure you understand how to use your oxygen equipment. If you’re unsure, contact your provider and ask for help.
  • Never remove or tamper with the firebreaks in the tubing of your home oxygen therapy equipment. A firebreak is an important safety device fitted within the tubing attached to the oxygen equipment.
  • Ensure the oxygen equipment is stored in a well-ventilated area, kept clean, dry and away from any heat sources and naked flames, including gas or electric fires and cookers.
  • Never use oil or grease to lubricate oxygen valves or taps.
  • Turn off your oxygen equipment when not in use.

Fit smoke and heat alarms

  • Fit a minimum of one working smoke alarm on every level of your home, preferably in a circulation space such as a hallway or landing.
  • Fit additional alarms in other rooms that are regularly inhabited and where there could be a risk of a fire starting.
  • Fit a heat alarm in your kitchen area.
  • Test your alarms at least monthly.

View our Home Oxygen and Fire Safety leaflet (internal webpage).