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In the event of a fire, the oxygen supply should be shut off as soon as possible. This can be done by turning off the main oxygen supply valve located near the oxygen tank. It is important to ensure that the valve is fully closed to prevent any oxygen from being released into the area.
However, piped medical oxygen should not be turned off immediately in the event of a fire. It should only be turned off if a piece of medical equipment or a patient using oxygen is on fire. The charge nurse or other clinical supervisor may turn off medical gasses upon direction from the fire department or medical center facilities .
It is important to note that medical gasses, including oxygen, are NOT immediately shut off in the event of a fire. It would be appropriate to shut off the oxygen supply to an area only if a piece of medical equipment supplied with oxygen or a patient using oxygen is on fire.
Oxygen should only be shut off at the zone valve when:
– A fire is being fed by oxygen and is becoming large.
– The oxygen cannot be shut off at the bedside without endangerment of life.
– If an explosion occurs and it is followed by a fire, fire protocol shall be followed to ensure safety.
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