Preventing Surgical Fires

The Joint Commission disclaimer icon (TJC) has taken on the leadership of the Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative. Dr. Gerard Castro is the leader of this effort for TJC. The Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety (CSPS) hosts the current Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative's Web pagesdisclaimer icon

After July 2015, the content on this Web page and the other Preventing Surgical Fires Initiative Web pages on FDA's website is provided for reference purposes only, and will not be updated or amended.

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: 03/08/2017
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