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S.W. Florida Daily News


Cape Coral house fire ignited by person smoking while on oxygen tank


Person Smoking While Connected to Oxygen Tank Causes Cape Coral House Fire

Smoking is one of the leading causes of fire-related deaths and property damage around the world. In fact, statistics show that smoking caused 17,200 residential fires in the United States alone in 2018. Unfortunately, the latest incident of a person smoking while connected to an oxygen tank causing a house fire occurred in Cape Coral, Florida. The fire caused significant damage to the home and could have potentially been deadly. In this article, we will discuss the details of the incident, how smoking while on oxygen can be dangerous, and what measures can be taken to avoid such incidents.

The Incident

On a Monday evening in Cape Coral, an individual was smoking while connected to an oxygen tank, causing a fire that damaged a residence. According to the fire department, the fire happened due to the ignition of oxygen tubing and an oxygen mask. The residents of the affected house were able to evacuate safely, thanks to working smoke detectors installed in the home.

The fire department responded quickly to the scene and extinguished the fire within minutes. However, the fire still caused extensive damage to the house. Not only was the home’s structure compromised, but the blaze further damaged the property’s interior, which included a considerable volume of charred debris. Ultimately, the incident could have been catastrophic, but thanks to the swift actions of the fire department, the damage was limited to the home’s interior.

The Dangers of Smoking with an Oxygen Tank

Oxygen tanks are commonly used to supply high levels of oxygen continuously to individuals with respiratory problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary fibrosis, and other conditions. Although it is perfectly safe to use oxygen tanks, smoking while on oxygen can be dangerous. When a person inhales smoke from a cigarette, it burns rapidly, causing flames that could ignite the oxygen.

Smoking while on oxygen is highly flammable and increases the risk of a fire breaking out. Fires caused by smoking while on oxygen are often more severe and spread more quickly than other fires, which is why it’s vital to avoid smoking while using oxygen.

The Importance of No Smoking Signage

No smoking signs are essential, not just in hospitals and doctor’s clinics but also in residential settings where oxygen is being used. No smoking signs in areas where individuals use oxygen tanks act as a reminder that smoking is not permitted. These signs serve as a critical visual cue and reinforce the message that smoking and oxygen do not mix.

No smoking signs should be placed in easily visible positions such as above the person’s bed, near the oxygen equipment, and outside the home or room. It is vital to educate individuals, especially smokers, on the dangers of smoking while on oxygen and the importance of following safety protocols.

Prevention Measures

The best way to prevent fires caused by smoking while using oxygen tanks is to avoid smoking altogether. When it is necessary to smoke, it’s important to eliminate all sources of ignition, including cigarettes, lighters, matches, and other flame sources when oxygen is in use in the home or other settings.

It is vital to create a safe perimeter, ensuring that oxygen tanks are always stored a safe distance from any form of potential ignition source. All sources of open flame, including candles, should be avoided in such an environment as they could ignite easily and cause a dangerous fire.

Families with individuals who use oxygen should also ensure that they have smoke detectors installed throughout the home. Smoke detectors that are interconnected and have a backup power supply are ideal.


The Cape Coral house fire incident is a testament to how dangerous smoking while connected to oxygen tanks can be. It highlights the importance of adherence to safety guidelines and the need to have the necessary resources on standby in case of emergencies. It’s essential to educate smokers and people living with individuals who need oxygen to understand the potential dangers of smoking while on oxygen.

The use of no smoking signs in areas where oxygen is used, creating a safe perimeter, and installing smoke detectors are some of the prevention measures that one can take to avoid house fires. By taking a proactive approach and practicing safe habits, we can prevent similar accidents in the future and ensure the safety of our loved ones.


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