Preventing Surgical Fires

NEW: The Joint Commission disclaimer icon (TJC) has taken on the leadership of the Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative, and Dr. Gerard Castro is the leader for this effort at TJC.

Starting in July 2015, the Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) will host the website for the Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative. The CSPS initiative pages are available online disclaimer icon.

Surgical fires are fires that occur in, on or around a patient who is undergoing a medical or surgical procedure. An estimated 550 to 650 surgical fires occur in the United States per year, some causing serious injury, disfigurement, and even death.1 Despite the fact that the root causes of surgical fires are well-understood, surgical fires still occur. Many healthcare organizations have developed tools, implemented strategies, and conducted education and outreach efforts to reduce the risk of fires. To supplement these efforts, FDA and its partners launched the “Preventing Surgical Fires” initiative to:

  • increase awareness of factors that contribute to surgical fires
  • disseminate surgical fire prevention tools
  • promote the adoption of risk reduction practices throughout the healthcare community


1 ECRI Institute New Clinical Guide to Surgical Fire Prevention. Health Devices October 2009

Page Last Updated: 07/14/2015
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