UK NHS Home Oxygen Service
What you need to know
Firebreaks have been mandatory on all NHS home oxygen installations in England and Wales since the introduction of the Home Oxygen Service in 2006.
The impact of firebreaks
Data from a Freedom of Information request among Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in England has revealed the impact of the introduction of firebreaks and other measures on patient safety.
Nearly three-quarters of CCGs (73%) responded to the request. The key results were:
• 63 serious incidents resulting from fires involving home oxygen equipment were recorded in the five year period between 2013 and 2017
• Only one fatality was recorded during this time
• If these results are extrapolated to cover the full oxygen patient population, the figures would be 89 incidents and 1.4 deaths
• In the US there were 27 deaths among the equivalent patient population over five years
• In Japan, there were 14 deaths among the equivalent patient population over five years