When used correctly oxygen is safe
We complete thorough risk assessments and health and safety checks before any oxygen equipment is installed in your home. You also need to follow these guidelines:
Do not smoke or use e-cigarettes
Do not let anyone smoke near oxygen
Smoking is dangerous when oxygen is being used.
You must not allow anyone using e-cigarettes near to someone using oxygen.
Keep oxygen away from fire
All oxygen equipment should be kept well away from candles (including scented candles), barbecues, fires and gas cookers.
Install a smoke alarm. Regularly check your smoke alarm to ensure it is working and its batteries do not need replacing. We inform the Fire and Rescue Service that you have oxygen in your home, who will contact you to complete a safe and well check. You should also tell them what equipment you have and where you store it.
Our Healthcare Technician will check your smoke alarms are in working order when oxygen is installed. Should you not have any working smoke alarms, we will inform the Fire and Rescue Service, who may be able to help install them.
Keep away from heat
Oxygen helps fires to burn. Keep away from fire. Ensure that any oxygen is kept away from gas fires, cookers and heaters etc. Recommended distance for oxygen therapy equipment from: fires 3m (10ft); radiators and heaters
Turn it off
Make sure the oxygen is turned off when it isn’t being used. When oxygen is being used, always make sure the nasal prongs or mask are not left on any soft material (for example, blankets, clothes, sofas or cushions) for any amount of time. Oxygen may soak into the material and can increase the risk of having a fire.
Remember to wait 20 minutes after using oxygen before getting close to anything that has a flame.
Always make sure there is fresh air when using oxygen. Try to keep a window or door in the room ajar when the equipment is in use.
Keeping all equipment clean
Only use a clean damp cloth and mild non-scratch cleaning materials to clean the equipment and allow it to dry properly before using.
Oxygen and emollients
Lotions, creams, lip balms and skin products contain the ingredients paraffin or oil, these can react when used with oxygen therapy.
Some users of oxygen therapy have creams or emollients prescribed to them for medical skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. When using a cream or emollient that contains oil or paraffin it is important that you speak with a Healthcare Professional or pharmacist to ensure your baby, child or young person’s safety.
Emollients and creams that contain petroleum or oil, can soak into bedding, clothing, bandages, and your hair. This can make them more flammable, especially when used with oxygen therapy. When using emollients or creams that contain these ingredients, avoid being close to anything that could start a fire, including matches, lighters, e-cigarettes, cookers, halogen heaters and lit cigarettes. It is also essential that you apply the minimum amount required and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after application.
The Medical Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have released specific guidance related to the safe use of creams and emollients. Advice includes, washing of bedding and clothing regularly, keeping creams away from soft furnishings, avoiding smoking and telling your friends and family about their use. Please take note that you should wash fabrics at the highest suitable temperature to remove oils and grease, this can reduce the risk of fire but may not remove the risk altogether.
Baywater Healthcare recommend that you avoid using creams or emollients containing oil or petroleum on your baby, child or young person’s face and hands when using oxygen therapy. It is safer to use a water-based cream or lubricant if you are able. Speak to a Healthcare Professional or pharmacist for guidance on the safest product to use.
Never remove this small white plastic piece from the tubing and make sure that the blue arrow is pointing to your child. A firebreak will stop a fire spreading in the tubing.
A firebreak is not included on the tubing for the small portable cylinders.
Make sure tubing does not get trapped or crushed under doors/furniture as this can stop/reduce the oxygen flow.
Keep tubing away from your feet when walking and take care not to slip or trip over it. Be aware of where the tubing is at any time, particularly when you stand up. Take particular care when on or near stairs. When you are using oxygen while walking you may find it easier to drape the tubing over your shoulder.
If your baby, child or young person is taken into hospital, ensure paramedics leave tubing in place as you will need it after discharge home. If your tubing is taken, please call us for replacements in advance of discharge.
Fixed oxygen tubing
For safety reasons, fixed oxygen tubing is recommended by your Healthcare Professional.
Our Healthcare Technician will visit and check the oxygen equipment every six months. If there is a problem with the oxygen machine use your emergency cylinder and call us on 0800 373580.
Cylinder safety and storage
Make sure cylinders are firmly secured and cannot be knocked over or fall on anyone.
If a small portable cylinder is being carried on a wheelchair or pushchair make sure that it is safely secured and balanced. If you use the carry straps on the cylinder bag, make sure they are firmly secured.
Emergency cylinders are provided along with an oxygen machine in case of a power cut or machine failure and should only be used in this instance.
The emergency cylinder should be located somewhere that you can easily reach it should it be needed. Keep a torch to hand in case the cylinder is required when it is dark.
All oxygen equipment should be stored in a cool place that has good air flow around it. Keep away from any item with the flammable logo or has the ingredient of oil in the ingredients list on the packaging. Cylinders can be laid flat and work equally well.
Tradespeople in your home
If you have tradespeople working in your home, make them aware of the location of oxygen equipment and any installed fixed tubing along with the precautions required.
Follow the advice given
Our Healthcare Technicians have had extensive training. We ask that you follow their advice at all times, if you are unsure of anything, please call us on 0800 373580.
Your oxygen is for your baby, child or young person
Oxygen is a medically prescribed drug, and should only be used by the person it has been ordered for. Under no circumstances should you allow anyone else to use it.
Celebrations and baking
We understand you and your child will want to celebrate certain events such as birthdays, bonfires, firework displays or sparklers. Please ensure your child has not used oxygen equipment for at least 20 minutes before getting close to fire/flames/candles.
When baking with your child please ensure the oxygen equipment is at least 3 metres away from the cooker at all times.
Do not allow your child using oxygen to go near gas cookers that are in use.
Before attending playgroup/nursery/school, you will need to discuss your child’s care with your Healthcare Professional.
We can provide oxygen at the playgroup/nursery/school, so there is always a supply there. We also have Clinical Advisers and Healthcare Technicians who are happy to visit and provide training on all aspects of the oxygen supply for members of staff. Either you or your child’s Healthcare Professional can call us to ask for this to be arranged.
If your child is carrying their own portable cylinder Baywater Healthcare can provide a trolley. Please call our Healthcare Helpline on 0800 373580.
Before playing sport, always seek advice from your child’s Healthcare Professional.
For children at school, please ensure they are not and have not used oxygen for at least 20 minutes before using bunsen burners, cookers, ovens and other heat sources within the classroom. This is because oxygen soaks into clothing and would be a fire risk.
If you take off the nasal prongs or mask and place it on fabrics such as clothing, bedding or soft furniture with the oxygen running, the oxygen will soak into the material and can catch fire easily. Please turn equipment off when not in use.
Bathing and showering
Please do not use any bath oils or bubble baths that contain oil within their ingredients. When using a portable cylinder, leave the portable cylinder outside of the bath or shower. Oxygen machines should remain where the Healthcare Technician originally installed them. Do not move them into the bath or shower room.
Nasal prongs can be worn in the bath or shower. After bathing or showering, please inspect the nasal prongs, if water is inside, the nasal prongs must be thrown away and replaced with a new one.
Please speak to your Healthcare Professional if you would like to go swimming. If this is agreed, please phone our Healthcare Helpline on 0800 373580 and we will arrange for extra tubing and nasal prongs. It would be a good idea to let swimming pool staff know before you visit as someone will need to carry the cylinder at the side of the pool.
After swimming, please inspect the nasal prongs, if water is inside, the nasal prongs must be thrown away and replaced with a new one.