Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is reminding people of the fire risks of having oxygen therapy systems in the home.

Oxygen therapy is used by people with severe respiratory conditions, to provide air that contains more oxygen than normal.

Specialist equipment which can include cylinders and portable units is used to pipe medical oxygen to the patient through either a nasal cannula or face mask.

Ian Hopkins, the Service’s Prevention Delivery Manager, said: “The addition of concentrated oxygen into a room or surrounding environment will greatly increase the intensity of a fire should one start.

"We would urge anyone who uses oxygen at home, or who cares for someone in that position, to take extra precautions to prevent a fire from starting.”

The following advice has now been issued.

A spokesman said: "Make sure oxygen equipment is stored safely out of direct sunlight, well ventilated, always dry and away from heat sources.

"Never smoke or allow the person being cared for to smoke whilst using oxygen equipment. This includes e-cigarettes.

"Don’t use matches or any naked flame such as candles, incense sticks or oil burners in the same room as oxygen equipment.

"Keep the oxygen supply well away from gas stoves, portable or open fires. Make sure oxygen is turned off when not in use. Contact your oxygen supplier for further guidance."

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