Spokane Valley Fire Department gets new devices to combat dangers of smoking, breathing medical oxygen

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — If you have family members or neighbors who breathe in-home medical oxygen, they can be at risk if a fire starts around them.

These “oxygen fires” are often started when someone smokes and uses oxygen at the same time.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department wants to raise awareness about these types of deadly fires.

Fire Marshal Greg Rogers says they’ve responded to at least one home oxygen fire every year for the last seven years in Spokane Valley.

The fire and smoke from the cigarette becomes more dangerous with the running oxygen — it burns hotter and faster and can start spreading through the oxygen tube someone is using to breathe.

It can severely burn someone, spread to their home and eventually result in death.

Thanks to a FEMA grant, Spokane Valley firefighters are getting about 100 thermal fuses, also called fire breaks, to help stop these fires sooner.

The small devices are meant to stop the fire as it starts to move through the tube.

The Spokane Valley Fire Department says it will start distributing the thermals fuses by request and during medical calls.

For more information about the grant awarded to the fire department, see this page on their website.

More info about fire danger associated with in-home medical oxygen can be found here.