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No problem at all. It's a reasonable assumption to make especially with all the signs you see around oxygen use and storage. Couple that with an accident like someone starting a fire while on oxygen therapy and it's easy to assume it's the oxygen that burns. It is quite amazing how much larger the fire is when pure oxygen is introduced. I've seen videos where people have TRIED to light oxygen tubing on fire with just a lighter or even a small torch like a propane torch and it doesn't burn very well on it's own (if t all) But, add the pure oxygen and yes, it looks much like a blowtorch. As I mentioned before they make a device that fits inline with the oxygen tubing that stops fire from continuing to burn up the length of the tubing. I think something like this should be mandatory especially in home oxygen therapy use. This particular device is called Oxysafe. I'm not sure if there are other types/brands of this type of device. Here is a quick video showing such a device in use. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMgJ91vBzWs
I guess I haven't paid much attention to whether the signs say "highly flammable" or "no smoking" or both or what. My guess is they have signs like that to keep people from using or having anything flammable around an oxygen rich environment. While Oxygen won't burn by itself it will make any existing fire MUCH worse. It will cause a small flame to flare up and be much larger. It "feeds" fire one of the thing it needs most to burn while not being flammable itself. Someone who is receving oxygen say through a nasal cannula (tube that runs under the nose) should never smoke for a copule of reasons. One if that oxygen tubing sould fall down if say, the person falls asleep the oxygen could start to be trapped within their clothing. Then, if they should drop the their cigarette, it could start their clothing on fire. The extra oxygen trapped within the clothing could cause their clothing to become an inferno very quickly. Also, the plastic that some/all oxygen tubing is made out of is flammable. If that plastic tubing should catch fire it literally becomes like a blow torch. Again, it's NOT the oxygen burning, it is the flame from the PLASTIC burning that is being fed by the oxygen thus turning what would normally be a small flame into a blowtorch like flame. There are some videos on Youtube that show just how flammable oxygen tubing can be WHEN there is oxygen going through it. By itself, it will hardly burn. But, run pure oxygen through it and it will light and burn like crazy. In addition, hospitals also have large tanks of oxygen along with probably miles of oxygen supply lines running throughout the hospitals. If there should be a fire (for any reason) those lines and those oxygen tanks could be a major hazzard in a building fire (by making the fire much worse). There are some videos on Youtube where they set up a demonstration where the oxygen tubing is routed around a couch or chair in a living room type situation and the oxygen is turned on. They then set the oxygen TUBING on fire. Once that tubing is on fire, it burns like a blowtorch and It lights anything flammable in its path on fire. I believe they now have some special devices that they can put inline with the oxygen tubing that will stop such a fire if it should happen. I believe the flame only burns as far as one of these devices and then the flame is stopped so it can't burn along the entire length of the tubing. In my opinion such a device sould be mandatory on every piece of oxygen tubing used and certainly required on any tubing used for oxygen therapy in the home. Here is one such video where it shows a length of oxygen tubing burining in a mock-up of home oxygen use like I described. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bXIhtXrRVA I hope links are allowed. If not and that gets edited out, just append watch?v=6bXIhtXrRVA to the standard Youtube link.
Michael, I'm a little confused by your comment. There IS a real danger with smoking and using oxygen. I hope my comment(s) didn't give you the impression that I was saying that there wasn't a danger just because I said oxygen wasn't flammable. There is a real danger for people who use oxygen therapy and choose to smoke at the same time. In fact, I just replied to someone else and made it very clear in that post that there is a real danger to using oxygen therapy and smoking, and why. My comment was simply to point out the fact that oxygen itself isn't flammable. Many people believe that it is. I was just pointing out the distinction that it is not. In your example of using the cigarette lighter you can certainly light the oxygen tubing on fire with the cigarette lighter but it's only the tubing that's burning, not the oxygen. There are examples of videos online where people try to light just the tubing (no oxygen flowing) on fire and it barely burns. But, turn on the oxygen and it becomes like a blowtorch. It's simply the oxygen making the fire burn much more vigorously then it would by itself but the oxygen isn't burning. Again, if it was my comment that you think gave the impression that there wasn't a danger with oxygen use and smoking, I apologize.
I was quite surprised to read (incorrectly)that Oyxgen, like Hydrogen, was flammable. I was also glad to finally read some people finally commenting (correctly) that Oygen is NOT flammble. I'm always amazed at how many people get this wrong. I've gotten into many discussions which have turned into arguments regarding people saying Oxygen is flammable. When someone has electrolyzed water into Hydrogen and Oxygen, the common test for this is to take a burning splint of wood and put it up to the small test tube which has collected a very small amount of Hydrogen in it. It will go POP as it explodes. Then, a burning splint is blown out, but still glowing red, is put in the test tube containing the Oxygen. It will relight very brightly. Sometimes it will relight many times when blown out and reinserted. In one instance, I even spoke to a firefighter who swore up and down that Oxygen was flammable. I told him to go and TRY and ignite pure oxygen. Oxygen is an oxidizer it HELPS other things burn but does not burn by itself. To the commenter that said it "makes" things burn, that is incorrect as well. It will "help" something burn but Oyxgen can not MAKE something burn that is not flammable.
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