Massachusetts Safety Officials Warn of Home Oxygen Risks

January 25, 2010

Massachusetts fire safety officials have begun a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of home oxygen use.

Fire officials say home oxygen use has been a factor in 24 fire deaths and 50 serious injuries in Massachusetts since 1997. State Fire Marshal Steve Coan said last year home oxygen use was linked to fatal fires in Quincy and Whitman.

Coan said home oxygen use increases oxygen levels in the air, causing fires to burn faster and hotter.

He said smoking is the leading cause of fires involving home oxygen use, but such fires can be fed by any flame or heat source, such as electric razors, candles or hair dryers.

The awareness campaign will include television and radio announcements, a brochure and educational guidelines for firefighters and first responders.

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