Baywater Healthcare is a responsible provider of home oxygen and its dispensing systems. For the benefit of our Fire Service colleagues here are a few guidelines on the equipment we supply and precautionary advice if you are called to an incident.
At oxygen concentrations of 23.5% or greater fire chemistry starts to change:
- Flammable ranges expand
- Auto ignition temperatures start to drop
- Materials that typically would not burn in air will burn in enriched atmospheres
- Materials that readily burn in air will ignite very easily and burn violently
- Enrichment of clothing is a serious hazard: isolate from ignition sources, get into to fresh air for 30 min and change clothes
What safety steps does Baywater Healthcare take?
A thorough risk assessment is completed by a qualified Healthcare Technician to eliminate risks, so that equipment can be dispensed safely, suitably and securely by the patient and/or carer once our Technician has left.
The patient and/or carer is then trained to use the equipment in a correct and safe manner. During this session the Healthcare Technician makes the patient and their carers aware of potential hazards such as:
- Avoiding oils and grease
- The need for adequate ventilation
- Turning of equipment when not using
- Not using within three meters of naked flames, heat and cigarettes (including e-cigarettes)
Smoke alarms are checked to ensure that they are working – non working smoke alarms are reported monthly to the Regional Fire Service.
A monthly report is sent to each Fire Service detailing which homes in their division have home oxygen in situ.
Home Fire Safety Check Service
Vulnerable people have been shown to be at a greater risk of fire in their own home than the general population. Statistics show that they are 6 times more likely to die in a fire if they do not have a working smoke alarm. Many patients who have home oxygen are frail, elderly and have limited mobility and are considered a vulnerable population from a fire safety perspective.
Baywater’s highly experienced Healthcare Technicians work in partnership with some of the Regional Fire & Rescue Services to provide Home Fire Safety Checks (HFSC). These are completed for any home oxygen patient and use the same risk assessment protocol as the Fire & Rescue Service.
During the HFSC the patient is given advice on fire safety, risk avoidance, escape plans and fire safety equipment such as smoke alarms are installed.
Our Healthcare Technicians emphasise the absolute necessity for patients not to smoke whilst in the presence of the home oxygen equipment, and certainly not whilst using the home oxygen equipment. This no smoking message and symbol is reiterated throughout all of the literature supplied to the patient. The patients’ Healthcare Professional should have also communicated this upon prescribing home oxygen in the first instance.
Baywater fits specially designed firebreaks onto the oxygen tubing 6-12 inches from the patient or for nasal cannula that has a fixed length of tubing 2.1 meters from patient. Firebreaks are also fitted 6-12 inches from the concentrator machine and depending on the length of tubing mid-way between. Firebreaks stop a fire at the earliest time, limiting the amount of toxic smoke produced and slowing the spread of the fire.
If you would like any further information on our Home Fire Safety Check Service, Home Oxygen or available training and support please contact us on 0800 373580.