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June 5, 2012 -- The use of home-based and portable oxygen systems in the home continues to increase. Sources suggest it’s mostly due to a growing older adult population, shorter hospital stays, and more advanced home healthcare services. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) wants you know that it is important to understand how oxygen can contribute to home fires. Under normal circumstances, room air contains approximately 21% oxygen. Oxygen can steep into clothing, fabric, hair, and beards. Contrary to popular belief, oxygen is not flammable but can cause other flammable materials to ignite more easily and to burn more quickly. Oxygen is of great benefit to those home healthcare patients in need of supplemental oxygen therapy. Please remember, however, that oxygen should always be handled with caution and complete awareness of potential hazards. Oxygen can be used safely at home. Click here to access suggested guidelines for home oxygen use and protect yourself and your family today!