Tennessee Fire Marshal Warns of Hazards Associated With Medical Oxygen

March 24, 2014

According to the Tennessee Fire Incident Reporting System, in the past five years in Tennessee there have been 18 fires associated with medical oxygen equipment. Those fires caused seven fatalities, nine injuries, and more than $710,100 in property damage.

Medical oxygen adds a higher percentage of oxygen to the air a patient breathes. If a fire starts in an oxygen-enriched area, the material affected will burn more quickly.

“When more oxygen is present, any fire that starts will burn hotter and faster than usual,” State Fire Marshal and Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak said. “Tennessee has seen an influx of preventable fires involving medical oxygen. It is crucial to follow safety precautions when medical oxygen is in use in a home.”

Smoking is the leading heat source resulting in medical oxygen-related fires, injuries and deaths. Homes where medical oxygen is used need specific fire safety rules to protect people from fire and burns.

Source: Tennessee State Fire Marshal

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