Using Medical Oxygen Safely

What Is an Oxygen Tank?

Oxygen tanks are a type of storage system that holds oxygen or liquid oxygen in a pressurized container. The size and appearance of an oxygen tank can vary depending on the purpose of the container, where it is used and the mobility requirements.

Using Oxygen Tanks in Medical Therapy

Oxygen therapy, the term used to describe oxygen that doctors prescribe, requires a medical oxygen tank and an appropriate breathing device. Doctors use oxygen therapy in emergency rooms and during surgical procedures, as well as prescribing oxygen therapy on a long-term basis for patients who require oxygen treatment for a medical condition. Patients may need to learn how to use an oxygen tank if long-term oxygen therapy is required for medical conditions such as:

How to Use an Oxygen Tank to Administer Oxygen

Getting oxygen from the tank to the individual requires that the patient knows how to use an oxygen tank properly. Oxygen therapy usually requires a mask or nasal cannula, which is attached to the tank via a hose. A mask is placed on the individual’s face over the mouth and nose, while a nasal cannula is placed directly in the nostrils.


When learning how to use an oxygen tank that holds pressurized oxygen, it’s essential to understand how it will be used since oxygen tanks are used in several different settings and situations. The proper use of a medical oxygen tank and its dimensions will vary based on the tank a doctor determines is most appropriate.

Medical Oxygen Tank Safety

Many patients who use home and portable oxygen tanks wonder about oxygen tank safety and the safety of storing the tanks. When oxygen tank safety is first and foremost on your mind each time you use your oxygen tank, the potential for fire and other hazards is minimized. Still, it is a good idea to be well educated and up to date on oxygen tank safety to ensure that you are taking all the necessary precautions.


Precautions around oxygen use safety are as follows:

  • Keep the tanks at least ten feet from stoves, fireplaces, candles or any other open flame.
  • Do not smoke while on oxygen therapy, and do not allow others to smoke near you.
  • Do not use electric razors near oxygen tanks due to the potential for sparks.
  • Do not use oil, grease or other petroleum-based products on or near the tank, and do not use petroleum-based products on your skin while using an oxygen tank.
  • Mark each room where you have a tank with signs stating there are oxygen cylinders in use.
  • Ensure that all the smoke detectors in the house are working.
  • Alert the fire department and all utility companies that there is home oxygen therapy in use. They can help if there is a loss of power or failure of service.
  • Keep tubing well out of the way, and do not let it become bound up in furniture or create a tripping hazard.

How to Improve Your Oxygen Use Safety

Once you know how to use an oxygen tank safely and take the proper safety measures, you can ensure that your oxygen use safety is suitable for regular oxygen treatment. However, if you would prefer a different method of delivery for your oxygen treatment that is less burdensome and a bit safer, you may want to consider using an oxygen concentrator instead.

When it comes to oxygen use safety, oxygen concentrators are a significantly lower safety risk than oxygen tanks. Because oxygen concentrators pull oxygen from the surrounding air and compress and purify it, rather than storing oxygen for later use, they do not leak, which considerably reduces any danger of combustion. Personal oxygen use safety should be a consideration as well, and because oxygen concentrators do not need to be refilled, you can receive oxygen continuously as long as your battery is charged or you have access to power. Oxygen concentrators are safe to use at home or while traveling, including during air travel.

In addition to being safer, oxygen concentrators are much easier to use, less awkward to transport and do not require refills or replacement, which can ultimately save you time and money. For patients who require regular oxygen therapy, but are still able to be out and about and active, the small size and minimal weight of portable oxygen concentrators can be life changing. If you are unsure how to decide whether the oxygen tank or oxygen concentrator delivery system is right for you, learn about the pros and cons of oxygen tanks and oxygen concentrators here.

Inogen Oxygen Concentrators Increase Oxygen Use Safety

Inogen began with the idea that oxygen therapy should adjust to the life of the patient and not the other way around. With that in mind, Inogen developed oxygen concentrators to make oxygen treatment easier, more convenient and less of a hassle. Offering both stationary and portable oxygen concentrators, Inogen has designed each concentrator to work safely, quietly and efficiently to help improve the quality of life for each user. Each Inogen oxygen concentrator can be used continuously as long as you have power or battery life, making them safe for use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For users traveling by air, all Inogen One portable oxygen concentrators are FAA approved.


Inogen oxygen concentrators are safe, but it is always a good idea to maintain oxygen use safety precautions when using any oxygen concentrators. Follow all safety instructions provided with your concentrator system and make sure you stay away from open flames, cigarettes and heat sources, as well as avoiding petroleum-based products. When traveling with either your Inogen One G4 or your Inogen One G3 portable oxygen concentrators, make sure you start your car before turning on your concentrator or charging it. Do not use your portable oxygen concentrators while they are in the trunk of a car, and never leave them in your vehicle. Allow a cold oxygen concentrator to warm up before use and ensure that the inlets and outlets of the portable and stationary oxygen concentrator units are never blocked.

With Inogen oxygen concentrators, oxygen use safety will not be a big worry. Simply follow the instructions and enjoy the improved freedom, mobility and independence an Inogen oxygen concentrator can offer. There is no need to be weighed down by cumbersome oxygen tanks or worry about tank leaks. With Inogen oxygen concentrators, you can safely enjoy oxygen anytime, anywhere.

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