Emollients, oxygen and fire risk
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have kindly provided the following information on fire risks with emoillients and oxygen :
WYFRS position is that the potential fire risk of paraffin-free emollients is potentially the same as paraffin-containing emollients when they are dried onto fabrics and an ignition source is introduced. We do not therefore recommend that clinicians switch to alternative paraffin-free products or those containing lower levels of paraffin.
Generally, patients should continue to be prescribed the most appropriate product for their condition and should always receive verbal warnings in addition to those contained on prescriptions or product labels.
Oxygen users are not generally at a higher risk of fire when using emollients if they:
- Do not smoke if there is any chance that their clothing/ bedding/dressings are contaminated.
- Keep away from open flames such as cooker hobs, open fires, candles and heaters if there is any chance their clothing/ bedding / dressings are contaminated.
Additionally, our general advice for oxygen users is that they should:
- Not smoke at all.
- Take care not to contaminate the oxygen equipment with any kind of cream or lotion including emollients and lubricants.
- Only use water based lubricant, such as KY jelly on areas that become dry on their face, nose and lips.
- Not smoke or go near any open flame or ignition source for at least 30 minutes after using oxygen.
- Open their windows when using oxygen.
- Keep oxygen equipment at least 3 meters away from open fires and 1.5 meters away from other heat and static electric sources.
- Store oxygen cylinders in well-ventilated areas and not enclosed cupboards.