How to Safely Transport Personal Oxygen

Written by nicole schmoll
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How to Safely Transport Personal Oxygen
Oxygen tanks for personal use must be transported with care. (oxygen cylinder image by JASON WINTER from

Compressed gases, like oxygen, for personal use are stored in heavy metal cylinders. Most cylinders have safety valves that prevent the cylinder from rupturing if internal pressure builds too high from overexposure to heat. By following a few basic principles, you can ensure the safe transfer of your personal oxygen unit whether travelling by train, car or bus.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Valve cap

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  1. 1

    Follow all manufacturer's instructions, which are clearly printed on the outside of the oxygen cylinder, to avoid damage or hazard. Before boarding a bus, train, taxi or vehicle, inspect the cylinder for cracks, leaks, dents, gouges and pits. Listen to the cylinder for air leaks. If the item is leaking or has any dents, gouges or pits, do not attempt to transport it. Instead, contact the manufacturer for a new oxygen cylinder as soon as possible.

  2. 2

    Carefully carry the cylinder on board the bus, train or car, as oxygen for personal medical use is extremely susceptible to valve damage if dropped. Lift the cylinder with both hands and carefully carry it to your seat or storage area and set it down. Never drag or roll the cylinder along the floor to move it.

  3. 3

    Secure the cylinder in the seat next to you or safely in the cargo area and away from any heat source on the vehicle. If in a car, place it gently on the floor between your legs so the cylinder may not roll into the aisle or fall over during transportation. If placed in a cargo area, secure the valve with a valve cap.

  4. 4

    Ensure no one is smoking a cigarette, cigar or using any lighting device such as a match or lighter in the vehicle while your oxygen cylinder is on board, as oxygen is highly flammable.

  5. 5

    Remove the cylinder from the vehicle immediately upon reaching your destination.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not touch the oxygen cylinder with hands that have been dirtied by oil or grease, as these could create dangerous fire hazards.

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