Useful Notes on the Common Causes of Fire in Hospitals (Safety Management)

Class A: Produced by combustion of solid combustible materials that are not metals, such as wood, paper, cloth, trash, plastics.

Class B: Oil or Gas fires caused by ignition of any nonmetal in a liquid state such as Flammable liquids: Gasoline, oil, grease, acetone or flammable gases.

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Class C: Electrical fires caused by energized electrical equipment.

Class D: Fire caused by combustion of metals such as potassium, sodium, aluminum, magnesium (in a laboratory or industry that uses these) materials. It requires special extinguishing agents (Metal-X, foam) to fight such fires.

2. Common Causes of Fire in the Hospitals:

1. Smoking, naked lighting in hazard prone areas, heating appliances, static current, and explosive gases in the OT, and diagnostic areas, other areas with heavy power load of equipments.

2. Electrical short circuiting/sparks in any area of the hospital.

3. Chemical fires in the Pathology Lab. stores area.

4. Battery charging, spray painting.

5. Welding and cutting activities.

6. Spontaneous combustion.

3. Areas More Prone to Fire:

All areas of the hospital with heavy electrical activity/equipment usage or storage of inflammable/explosive items (OT, ICU, cath. lab, path lab, radiotherapy, radio diagnosis, generator room, maintenance workshop, battery banks, medical stores, manifold room, diesel storage etc.) are especially prone to fire hazards and special care must be taken to prevent fires in these areas.

Although, the regulating authorities are supposed to do periodic inspections of the fire safety system of the hospital, patients have no way of judging the quality of (fire safety) service. However, they do expect that the management fulfills their obligation of providing a safe and hazard free stay in the hospital.