Why high oxygen levels can be hazardous (and how to test for them)

Oxygen is essential for life, but as is often the case, too much of a good thing can be harmful. High oxygen levels can be hazardous to both humans and the immediate environment, and it’s important to understand the potential dangers, and how you can avoid them in the workplace. That’s where we can help you. 


Many of the risks that oxygen presents are difficult to monitor, so it’s vital to have some kind of oxygen detection system in place to pick up on any leaks within your premises. Here at Gas Alarm Systems, we use our extensive in-house expertise to deliver reliable, cost-effective fixed gas detection systems tailored to meet the specific hazards of your industry, including oxygen leaks. That makes us well-versed in all the issues they can cause – so here’s our brief guide to the dangers of oxygen.

Hazards presented by high levels of oxygen

A high level of oxygen concentration can present your business with a variety of dangers. Here, we’ve highlighted a few of the main ones:

  • Increased risk of fire – oxygen is highly reactive and can support combustion, so when the concentration of oxygen in the air is high, fires can ignite and spread more easily. (This is why oxygen tanks used in medical settings are kept away from heat sources, and require constant close monitoring.)
  • Oxygen toxicity – excessively high concentrations of oxygen can damage cells in the body and cause a range of symptoms, including seizures, dizziness, and nausea. In severe cases, oxygen toxicity can even be fatal.
  • Negative effects on the environment – in aquatic ecosystems, increased oxygen levels can lead to the growth of harmful algae blooms, which can deplete oxygen levels in the water and harm fish and other aquatic life.

As ever, proper ventilation and monitoring always goes a long way towards helping to prevent dangerous situations, and it’s important to follow safety guidelines when handling oxygen or working in environments with high oxygen concentrations. But if you want to be really safe, then gas detection is the way ahead.

How our detectors can protect you from oxygen exposure

Our gas detectors are one of the safest ways to reduce the likelihood of exposure to high concentrations of oxygen. Depending on the size of your premises, you can install one or multiple gas alarms in your workplace –we’d always advise placing them in key areas where the risk of leakage is at its highest, such as near containment tanks. Our detectors are designed to pick up on trace amounts of fumes, so you can rely on them to alert your staff to the danger and give them plenty of time to vacate the area until it can be made safe.

Our gas detectors can be bought as either fixed or portable devices, and provide comprehensive protection from the risks posed by asphyxiate, toxic and flammable gases, by giving you early warning of a potential leak. Our in-house experts take care to provide reliable, cost-effective solutions tailored to meet the specific hazards of your industry. Feel free to take a look at our range of fixed gas detection systems or portable gas detection monitors, including carbon monoxide systems and carbon dioxide systems, or if you have any questions or need any advice, by all means call us on 01423 862240, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.