Fire Triangle and Top Fire Risks – New Flyer and Poster Design Release

The common phrase “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” means that a little proactive effort dedicated to prevention can save a huge hassle or even harm resulting from an accident. The first step in preventing healthcare Never Events, such as surgical fires, is recognizing the risk factors and causes that lead to these events occurring. 

The Fire Triangle is a powerful tool which shows the three factors that must be present for a fire to occur: an ignition source, a fuel source, and an oxidizer. All three of these factors must be present and must interact for a fire to occur, and all three are frequently present in the operating room in some form. The infographic below shows some of the most common forms of ignition sources, fuel, and oxidizers in the OR.

The fire triangle teaches us that if we can remove, prevent contact/interaction, or insulate one of the three components of the fire triangle then a fire will not occur. For example, if a fuel source such as an alcohol-based prep solution is allowed to dissipate before use of an ignition source, such as an electrocautery, is used on the field. It is the responsibility of the OR care team to be aware of and to mitigate these risks by applying the fire triangle methodology. Some of these risks are obvious, such as electrocautery devices and lasers, while some are more subtle but nonetheless dangerous. For this reason, Jackson Medical has developed a Surgical Fire Safety Toolkit. It includes informational posters that can be displayed or provided to staff for education specifically highlighting top fire hazards present in the ORs.

This toolkit was built on guidelines, recommendations, and requirements from organizations such as AORN, the Joint Commission, NFPA, and the FDA. Mitigating fire risk with preventive solutions like GloShield aligns with several of these guidelines. GloShield insulates the surrounding environment from the tips of fiber-optic light cables, which can reach temperatures of up to 500℉ and serve as an ignition source. In this way, GloShield effectively separates the “ignition source” side of the fire triangle from the others, thus preventing a fire from starting. Contact Jackson Medical and the GloShield team for additional details and support.

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