Safety of Medical Gases

Fire and explosion risk:

  • Some materials which do not normally burn in air will burn in an atmosphere of oxygen, nitrous oxide or in gas mixtures containing more than 21% oxygen. The gases do not burn themselves, but strongly support combustion, and therefore special attention should be directed to the hazards associated with smoking and naked flames.
  • A facility which stores medical gases should have appropriate labels on the door regarding fire and explosion risk.
  • When the medical gases are being driven in a vehicle the appropriate sticker should also be on display.
  • When using medical gas cylinders it is most important that no part of the cylinder valve or equipment is either lubricated/contaminated with oil or grease. This is due to the risk of spontaneous combustion that can occur with high pressure gases in the presence of hydrocarbons.