Medical Oxygen Safety & Supply Resource Center for Health Care Facilities

Health Care Facility Oxygen Fire Safety

Medical oxygen plays an essential role in delivering patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some therapies require large quantities of oxygen or its use in areas of health care facilities not designed for oxygen use, which can create oxygen-enriched atmospheres containing greater than 23.5% oxygen.

Although oxygen itself does not burn, in oxygen-enriched atmospheres, materials can be easily ignited by ignition sources such as friction, open flames, heated surgical equipment, or electrical equipment. To avoid incidents involving oxygen and oxygen-enriched atmospheres, it is important that health care personnel handling and using these gases and associated equipment understand the associated risks and mitigation practices.

This poster, provided by the Compressed Gas Association, provides basic safety information for health care environments where medical oxygen is in use. It includes critical steps that health care facilities can take to reduce the risk of medical oxygen fires. To learn more about oxygen, see the section, “Product Information: Oxygen” at the bottom of this page.

Medical Oxygen Fire Safety Reminders

Provide Oxygen Safety Training

  • Personnel using oxygen and oxygen-enriched gases shall be adequately trained and knowledgeable in oxygen safety
  • Personnel using oxygen equipment shall be adequately trained in its operation

Remove Potential Ignition Sources

  • Do not allow smoking, flames, sparks, or other sources of ignition in the vicinity of oxygen use
  • Inform patients of the hazards and “Do’s and Don’ts” of oxygen use

Use Oxygen-Safe Equipment

  • Use only equipment suitable for medical oxygen use
  • Ensure that connections to tubing, regulators, and other equipment are tight to prevent leakage
  • Keep hoses, cannulas, and masks in good condition
  • Check equipment prior to use for proper function

Do Not Use Oil and Grease with Oxygen Equipment

  • Body oils, lip balms, hand lotions, face creams, hair products, sprays, and other items containing oil and grease can easily burn
  • Keep hands free of oil and grease when handling oxygen equipment
  • Keep oil and grease away from area where oxygen is in use

Poster Downloads

CGA offers this poster as a free safety resource. It is important to note that this poster is not a substitute for reading and following codes and regulations, industry standards, and supplier instructions. Download your free Health Care Facility Oxygen Fire Safety poster today!

NOTE – Use self-print files for printing at your home or office, and full bleed files for professional printing.

Medical Oxygen Supply in Health Care Facilities

Members of the Compressed Gas Association stand ready to meet the medical oxygen needs of health care providers in the U.S. and Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our member companies continue to produce and deliver essential products, particularly oxygen and other medical gases, in response to demand related to COVID-19.

Throughout this crisis, medical oxygen suppliers need to closely communicate with health care facility customers in order to monitor the situation together and reallocate resources as necessary to respond to spikes in demand.

CGA Offers Free Medical Oxygen Supply Chain Posters

CGA has published two free posters, which medical oxygen suppliers can share with customers. These posters communicate three critical steps that health care providers can take to support the medical oxygen supply chain:

  1. Understand their medical gas supply system needs and capabilities
  2. Manage medical gas container inventory
  3. Clean their medical gas containers

The posters are designed so that suppliers can add contact information to each poster, before sharing them with health care customers. Health care professionals are also welcome to download these posters for free.

Each poster also includes a link to the safety publication, CGA P-83, Guidelines for Cleaning Externally Contaminated Medical Gas Containers.

Click the links below to download the two posters, each of which is available in either 8.5X11 inches or 11X17 inches.

Wall Connection Poster

CGA Medical Oxygen Wall Connection Poster 8.5×11 with QRCode to P-83

CGA Medical Oxygen Wall Connection Poster 11×17 with QRCode to P-83

Cylinder Poster

CGA Medical Oxygen Cylinder Poster 8.5×11 with QRCode to P-83

CGA Medical Oxygen Cylinder Poster 11×17 with QRCode to P-83

CGA Standards for COVID-19 Response

Published by the Compressed Gas Association, CGA M-24, Standard for Mitigating Oxygen Hazards in the Health Care Environment (Formerly SB-31), provides general requirements for personnel handling and using oxygen and oxygen-rich gases and associated equipment in health care environments.

We are providing safety publication CGA M-24 free of charge for all those who may need it, to help ensure that all health care facilities and their employees have access to the necessary information to facilitate a safe response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Product Information: Oxygen

Oxygen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless elemental gas that supports life and combustion constitutes about one-fifth of the atmosphere (20.95% by volume and 23.2% by weight). At temperatures below –297.3 °F (–147.4 °C) and atmospheric pressure, it is a transparent, pale blue liquid that is slightly heavier than water. All elements except the inert gases combine directly with oxygen to form oxides. Oxygen is nonflammable, but it readily supports combustion. All materials that are flammable in air burn much more vigorously in oxygen. Some combustibles, such as oil and grease, are easily ignited and burn with nearly explosive violence in oxygen.