Operating Room Fires Do Occur: Are You Protected?

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Fires in operating rooms happen more than 100 times each year. But the more important question to ask is: If I’m in surgery, how am I protected from fire?

Recently, a clip was aired on the TV show "Grey's Anatomy" that tragically showed a fire break out in an operating room during surgery. This episode has gained some nationwide attention, leaving TV viewers -- and patients around the country -- asking the question: Do operating room fires really happen?

The answer is yes. Fires in operating rooms happen more than 100 times each year. But the more important question to ask is: If I’m in surgery, how am I protected from fire?

Amerex Corporation identified a need in the health care market for a safe, effective and low-risk fire extinguisher to put out OR fires and the end result was the water mist fire extinguisher -- designed specifically to safeguard operating rooms, MRI facilities, laboratories and other critical care areas so that a fire can be extinguished safely -- while not putting patients at risk.

Today, the Amerex water mist fire extinguisher is gaining in popularity and is currently present in thousands health care facilities across the country. What makes this extinguisher so unique is that it can effectively put out Class A fires, where a Class C (live electrical equipment) hazard exists -- while not putting patients, elderly, and personnel members’ health at risk.

Jim Sperring of Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California recently installed 12 water mist fire extinguishers in their operating rooms. “The Water Mist Fire Extinguisher was recommended by the Federal Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and it was reviewed by our Safety Committee and approved for use in the Operating Rooms,” he says. “The ORs still have Halon and ABC fire extinguishers. These will supplement the existing extinguishers. For a patient being operated on, it [the Water Mist] is a great idea.”

According to R.A.O. Safety, which offers life safety training for health care facilities, hospitals are replacing fire blankets with the water mist fire extinguisher per the recommendation of the American Association of OR Nurses.

The Amerex Water Mist Fire Extinguisher is developed with the same caliber of quality and dependability as Amerex's other fire protection products, and is, by far, the safest extinguisher for human exposure due to its unique, fine spray of de-ionized water which leaves no residue, is non-toxic, and will not result in contamination.

“Hospitals rely on Amerex technology and service to make sure their equipment is protected and their people and patients are safe,” says Bill Beyer, President of Amerex Corporation. “The fact that there are thousands of Water Mist Fire Extinguishers now mounted in health care facilities around the country since its introduction confirms it is a powerful solution.”

“We really are pleased with the amazing reception from health care facilities everywhere and how it has gained enormous popularity,” says Craig Voelkert, VP of Sales, Special Hazards, for Amerex. “This fire extinguisher unequivocally offers the only viable extinguishing agent for operating rooms and health care environments.”

Approved by Underwriter’s Laboratories, the water mist extinguisher is available in both 6 and 9 liter units and can discharge a distance of 10 – 12 feet. It also is made of all non-magnetic construction and tested by an independent lab to be safe in a Tesla-3 MRI environment.

About Amerex

Beginning in 1971, Amerex Corporation has grown to become the world's largest and most innovative manufacturer of hand portable and wheeled extinguishers for commercial and industrial applications. For more information about Amerex and its products, visit http://www.amerex-fire.com, or contact Craig Voelkert at 205-655-3271.

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Janine Hannibal
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