Can Oxygen Tanks Explode from Heat? (Quick Answer!)

Oxygen tanks filled with oxygen are lifesavers, especially when patients are at the intensive care unit (ICU). If you think of the pandemic situations like Covid-19, the use of oxygen cylinders has been very notable. Even most governments worldwide have permitted hospitals and health care centers to buy oxygen tanks. However, these tanks were in crisis during the pandemic’s peak.

Can Oxygen Tanks Explode From Heat? In short, an oxygen tank will not burn or explode from heat if you maintain it under prescribed conditions. Thus, it can explode if it stays close to any explosive or flammable object and it leaks and meets extreme heat.

Carrying or keeping oxygen tanks requires high safety measures. Things can be terrifying if you don’t follow all possible security rules. This discussion will find many answers relevant to oxygen tanks’ explosions and extreme heat. I hope you will share your precious time with us.

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What are Oxygen Tanks?

Oxygen Tanks are a common thing in medical applications. But there are also notable uses in scuba diving, hill or mountain climbing, hardware shops, and rocket technologies.

An oxygen tank is a similar leak-proof storage vessel to a propane tank. The gas (oxygen) is held inside the tanks under controlled pressure. Also, it may contain liquid oxygen with excessive (prescribed) pressure. Usually, liquid oxygen is carried in the cryogenic storage cylinders.

These tanks are available in different sizes and prices. Also, you cannot claim a tank without proper permission from authorized medical institutes, medical personnel, and pulmonologists. After all, these cylinders are too much dangerous or may lead to burning everything.

Can oxygen tanks explode from the heat?

Oxygen itself is not flammable. It means it cannot catch fire. But it has the characteristics to let others burn, especially when you keep explosive stuff close to the oxygen tank under high-temperature conditions.

The tank is made of such metal that has high heat resistance. If you want it to melt or change its shape, there must be extreme heat. However, if there is a fault or leak in the tank, it may explode vigorously.

One more thing, all the cylinders of oxygen have a pressure release valve. It can release the gas or liquid inside it if the pressure rises more than the standard safety level. If you crush or heat the cylinders at a consistently high temperature, it may increase the pressure inside the cylinders. As a result, you may face a massive explosion.

What makes an oxygen tank explode?

Oxygen can catch fire and explode under certain conditions.

Here are some of them:

  • Oxygen is leaking from its container or tank.
  • You are using incompatible things with oxygen.
  • You are carrying or using such equipment that is not suitable for oxygen service.
  • Not a proper or careful operation of oxygen gear.

At what temperature does oxygen explode?

When dealing with oxygen, you must be careful at every moment. Storing an oxygen tank is also an important matter. You should not keep it in a place where the temperature is more than 125°F.

When a combustion reaction happens, there will be possible explosions in most cases. If you place an oxygen tank in a hot area, the temperature and pressure of oxygen will increase. It will increase the possibility of explosion or burst if there is any flammable object near that tank.

Can oxygen tanks explode in cold weather?

The pressure inside the tank remains high. When the tank comes in touch with extreme cold, it will reduce the pressure. On the other hand, extreme heat is the reason to increase that pressure and force the release valve to open and release some oxygen.

If the releasing rate is too fast, the rising high pressure may cause the tank to burst and possibly an explosion.

So, there is no chance of oxygen tanks explosion in cold weather. It will reduce the pressure but not be a reason for causing a fire.

Can oxygen tanks sit in the sun?

You may have seen many relevant professionals carrying oxygen cylinders under the sun. But the high temperature can be tough on these cylinders. If the temperature is above 125°F, the cylinder may burst and cause an explosion with the presence of any flammable object. 

The highest registered air temperature on Earth is 134.1 °F officially. It is not a level of heat that may happen daily. On the other hand, the average temperature on this plant is around 57°F. So, it usually has no impact on causing the oxygen tanks to explode or burst. But there is a thing you should remember.

If the temperature is consistent or increases more than average, it may increase the pressure of oxygen in the tank. Then, it will explode with the presence of other explosion-causing factors.

Can oxygen tanks stay in a hot car?

Portable oxygen-carrying cylinders are transported with proper care. In this process, the experts suggest carrying the tank in a carry bag and secure using the car’s rear seat belts. It is wise not to carry oxygen in a fuel station where you need to fill up the fuel tank. Also, you must not smoke when oxygen tanks are staying in the hot car.

You may use a cart to carry the tanks. Also, avoid the tanks remaining open under bright sunlight or lighters. Then, secure the tank in a way that it doesn’t roll around in the hot car. Experts suggest keeping liquid oxygen tanks vertically.

Lastly, maintain proper ventilation to prevent oxygen tanks from getting hotter and increase the pressure inside.

To learn more about How to Travel with Oxygen in your Car, Watch this:

How to use your oxygen concentrator during high heat?

You should use oxygen concentrators in indoor applications. The area should be air-conditioned well. Otherwise, you may reduce the temperature using a different cooling method that will be below the maximum operational temperature.

The most suitable temperature is 60-70°F. It is comfortable to work with an oxygen tank and safer for the machine. You may keep a portable concentrator outside where the place has shades under some trees or by a building structure.

Again, ensure the temperature doesn’t rise above the max operational temperature.

people also ask

1. Are oxygen tanks flammable?

Oxygen itself is inflammable. But it can cause fire or explosion under heavy heat that increases the pressure of oxygen inside the tank. It happens due to the combustion reaction, which held rapidly.

2. Will an oxygen tank explode if shot?

Usual bullets which we use for safety or hunting purposes may not have the power to cause a fire. But if the bullet has extreme power, it can quickly leak the tank and rapidly increase the pressure of oxygen which may cause an explosion.

Read also:


Can oxygen tanks explode from the heat? I think you have the answer right now. Thus, I am recapping the discussion in a line. Extreme heat can increase the pressure of oxygen held inside a tank. When the pressure rises and oxygen comes closer to any flammable object, the release or leak of oxygen may cause an explosion.

So, you should be careful when you are working with these tanks. Thanks for reading.



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