Can Oxygen Tanks Explode?

Can Oxygen Tanks Explode?

Maybe you need to keep oxygen tanks in your home and want to know if they pose a threat to your safety? Whatever your reason might be, we are here to help you!

Oxygen tanks are a lifeline for many people.

Not only are they used widely in hospitals, but those with breathing issues often have them in their homes, or portable versions they carry with them.

But can oxygen tanks explode? Are there any risks to having them?

These questions are common, but the answers can be tricky to find. And when your safety and the safety of others are a priority, you will want to find these answers quickly!

And that’s why we are here, to give you the answers that you need! Keep reading to find out if oxygen tanks can explode and everything else you need to know.

Can Oxygen Tanks Explode?

Let’s get straight into it! Yes, oxygen tanks can explode.

Now, this doesn’t mean that your tanks are likely to spontaneously combust, but you should be aware of what can cause an oxygen tank to explode so that you can store them safely and be prepared should it happen!

Generally speaking, oxygen tanks will only explode if they are not kept in the correct condition, for example, if the tank is leaking or not well maintained.

Oxygen tanks contain a pressure release device. Its purpose is to release oxygen when the pressure rises above a safe level.

This works to keep you safe, and also helps the oxygen to be released from the tank for you in a safe manner.

However, there are instances where these pressure releases can fail, or the oxygen tank can explode.

Let’s take a look now at what can cause an oxygen tank to explode.

What Causes An Oxygen Tank To Explode?

As we mentioned earlier, some situations can cause your oxygen tank to explode. Let’s take a closer look at these now to help you store your oxygen correctly.


Heat is the main cause of an oxygen tank exploding. This could be due to an oxygen tank being too close to an open flame and the tank is leaking.

Here the oxygen will heat up and this can cause the tank to explode! It is recommended that even well-maintained tanks are kept away from open flames.

You will also want to keep your oxygen tanks away from oil and grease, especially hot oil and grease.

These can react violently with the pure oxygen in your tank, resulting in an explosion or fire.

You should keep oxygen tanks out of kitchens if you are cooking with hot oil and grease, even after you have finished cooking as these substances can stay hot for a while.

The Tank Is Crushed

If your oxygen tank is crushed or damaged in say a car accident, then it can explode.

This is usually a combination of the tank being damaged, causing oxygen to leak and mix with the heat of your vehicle, causing an explosion.

The Tank Is Not Properly Maintained

The Tank Is Not Properly Maintained

If you have not cared for your tank properly, maintained correct levels, or used an incompatible tank, then this can cause the oxygen tank to explode.

The tank might burst or catch fire and this can be extremely dangerous. It is for this reason that manufacturers emphasize the correct care and maintenance of your oxygen tank.

Is Oxygen Flammable?

Although oxygen tanks can explode, oxygen itself is not flammable. It can, however, make flammable substances burn more.

You will want to ensure that oxygen tanks are kept away from flammable objects both when in use and kept in storage.

You will want to avoid keeping oxygen tanks away from stoves or fireplaces and not smoke while using oxygen. The combination of a cigarette and oxygen tank is a recipe for disaster!

Store your oxygen tank in a safe location and keep a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case it needs to be used.

At What Temperature Does Oxygen Explode?

As we have said, oxygen and its tanks can explode when they are left in hot temperatures or near flammable objects. So at what temperature does oxygen explode?

Well, at 125 degrees Fahrenheit, oxygen can combust in its tanks, resulting in fires.

It is advised that you do not keep oxygen tanks in places where the temperature is more than 125 degrees Fahrenheit.

In these hot areas, the pressure of the oxygen in your tank can increase, so even the most well-maintained tanks can explode in these environments!

Leaving your oxygen tank in a hot environment can increase the risk of an explosion or for your oxygen tank to burst, especially if there are flammable objects nearby.

You will need to take great care when storing your oxygen tanks to prevent this.

On the other hand, extremely cold weather can impact your oxygen tank too.

When the temperature drops or you travel to a cold climate, you will want to ensure that your oxygen tank pressure remains high.

Cold weather or temperatures can cause the pressure to drop.

While this can impact how you use your oxygen tank, you will be pleased to know that it does not cause an oxygen tank to catch fire.

It is still best to check the pressure of your oxygen tank and adjust it as needed to meet the requirements set by the manufacturer.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, oxygen tanks can indeed explode! These tanks explode when there is too much pressure and a flammable object nearby or are subject to extreme heat.

If you care for and maintain your tank correctly, then your chances of it exploding will be far lower.

Ensure that you keep them out of extreme heat and if you are unsure, be sure to consult the manufacturer for further guidance.