Oxygen Tank Safety

CASPER The fire that woke some Mills residents up early Monday morning is still under investigation, but according to reports, it caused two oxygen tanks to explode.

Many people rely on oxygen therapy, so we are reminded what we can do to prevent hazards.

Higher oxygen concentrations make for easier ignition, hotter flames, and faster spread.

To use oxygen safely, keep at least 15 feet between equipment and open flames, or other heat sources like stoves, fireplaces, and candles.

Check labels to avoid using products containing petroleum based ingredients, such as petroleum jelly, some lip balms, and lotions.

When using an oxygen concentrator, place it in a well ventilated area.

Also, do not plug your equipment into a power strip or extension chord, and stay at least 12-18 inches away from drapes or curtains.

Make sure to keep tanks secured upright, in a rack, to prevent falling or rolling.

Never store tanks in closets, and do not transport tanks in a trunk.

The fire department says that they are always there to help.

"Use caution if they think they're having any sort of oxygen issues with their tank. They can always contact the fire department. The fire department is more than welcome to come out and make sure they're equipment...." Explained Tyler Houser of the Mills Fire Department. "whether it be in a concentrator or a bottle we can go ahead and check it out make sure everything looks good for them."

One last precaution you can take is to make sure you post a no smoking sign on your door, and to have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home.