*Oxygen Tank Safety*
Handling Oxygen Tanks Safely
26 April 2003
When handling oxygen tanks you need to be a little more careful. Oxygen supports combustion and will cause an explosion if not used safely. Oxygen is under high pressure in the tank. When you change the regulator DO NOT let oil, and that includes the oil on your hands, get on the coupling because it will explode when you turn it on. You normally have oil in and on your skin from your body. That is what makes a fingerprint! Just touching your finger to the coupling surface will put enough oil there to cause and explosion. I have done this many times with medical Oxygen. It is a small explosion but no need to take the chance. The reason it does this is when oil gets compressed, such as in a diesel engine, it explodes and the oxygen feeds it thus causing detonation. Always wipe the surfaces of the coupling with a CLEAN rag.
Donít let tanks stand up by themselves because they might fall over and hit the valve on something causing it to break off. Then you have a 100lb. "balloon" missile flying around trying to kill people!! Always put them in a cage, tie them to a tree, or at least lay them on the ground. Always protect the valve!!! This applies to ALL oxygen tanks, whether it is a medical or welding Oxygen tank.
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