Tennessee Fire Marshal Urges Caution With Home Medical Oxygen

March 24, 2014

Officials say fire departments across Tennessee reported 18 fires involving portable oxygen tanks in the past five years, leading to a warning from the state fire marshal

WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee, reports that seven of those fires were fatal, and property damage totaled more than $700,000.

Tennessee Fire Marshal and Commerce & Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak says oxygen tanks have become more common, and they can cause fires to burn with more heat and speed.

State numbers showed that smoking most often provided the heat source in oxygen tank fires.

The fire marshal said Tennesseans who use medical oxygen should not smoke and that oxygen cylinders should be kept away from heat sources, oils and grease, and aerosol spray cans.

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