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Control measure

Be oxygen aware

Control measure knowledge

Remember that medical oxygen should not be contaminated with grease or oil; there is an associated hazard of ignition between a fuel and an oxidiser. Refer to the HazMat guidance for further information.

The use of oxygen at an incident scene will pose additional hazards because oxygen supports combustion, making non-combustible items likely to become more flammable. If the oxygen cylinder is damaged in any way during an extrication, and this results in a larger uncontrolled leak, it should be identified and managed immediately.

Further information can be found in the Casualty care section.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that all personnel are aware of the risk presented by working with medical oxygen

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Identify and communicate the presence of any oxygen equipment to emergency responders
  • Wear medical gloves when handling oxygen equipment and ensure isolation from oil and grease
  • Consider the risk from oxygen enrichment when using tools, equipment or defibrillators