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Fire Safety During Medical Procedures

Posted on: October 8, 2012

As you may know, next week is the NFPA’s Fire Prevention Week. This year, the NFPA, FDA and 22 other organizations will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative, which was launched on October 13, 2011 to increase awareness of factors that contribute to surgical fires, increase the use of surgical fire prevention tools and promote the adoption of risk reduction practices throughout the healthcare community.

What’s the danger of surgical procedures?

Surgical fires can occur on or near a patient who is undergoing a medical or surgical procedure. Surgical fires are a preventable medical error, but even so, an estimated 550 – 650 surgical fires occur each year, some causing serious injury, disfigurement or death. We’ve written on our blog about hospital fire safety tips in the past, and the FDA has a list of additional tips to help keep you, your staff and your patients safe when disaster strikes.

Fire risks in surgery rooms are much higher than other environments, for a couple reasons. First and foremost, the high concentration of oxygen around a patient’s face puts them at immediate risk, in addition to things like surgical drapes, which can catch fire easily.

Install FM-200 to Keep Your Hospital Safe

With all the sensitive equipment present in surgery rooms, installing a traditional water-based fire sprinkler system is not the best option: the water from the sprinklers can do as much damage to your equipment as a fire! Your best bet is to go with a clean agent fire suppression system, specifically an FM-200 system.

Instead of using water, FM-200 systems use a gas that absorbs heat until the temperature drops below the flammable range. The gas is highly effective even in small amounts, so oxygen displacement is minimal.

The advantages of FM-200 fire suppression systems include:

  • FM-200 systems are designed to detect and extinguish fires at their earliest stages to prevent damage and business downtime.
  • FM-200 gas extinguishes fires safely without damaging even the most sensitive electronic equipment.
  • FM-200 leaves no residue, corrosive or otherwise. This means no cleanup afterwards, and no risk of damage after the fire is out. In fact, the only effect FM-200 has on the environment is a slight reduction in temperature.
  • Last but not least, FM-200 is safe for use in normally occupied areas. People are able to breathe FM-200 at extinguishing concentrations with no risk of health risks or complications.

If you operate a hospital or surgery center in New Jersey, Delaware or Philadelphia, and want to install a fire suppression to keep your staff, equipment and, most importantly, patients safe, call Confires today. We can install an FM-200 system that will keep you protected with minimal risk to the environment. We can also help if you need to develop a fire escape plan for your hospital.

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