Posted on 24/06/2021 in Fire Safety 2021
Covid oxygen fire risks in hospitals

The EU (JRC) documents increased fire risk in hospitals linked to Covid oxygen use, with 36 hospital fires worldwide. These fires killed over 200 people, not including indirect deaths from resulting oxygen supply cuts. The number of incidents since the start of the Covid pandemic far exceeds those before. The EU JRC (Joint Research Centre) Bulletin aims to raise awareness of fire risks related to oxygen-rich environments in hospitals. JRC is working on recommendations for managing these risks. An increase in oxygen levels in air from 21% to 24% is sufficient to cause risks, and additionally infection units have low air-exchange. This brings the Limiting Oxygen Index fire test starkly into real life.

“Risk of oxygen-related fires in hospitals treating Covid-19 patients”, European Commission JRC Lessons Learned Bulletin, updated 3 May 2021

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