How to Report a Fire

If you or someone you love has been the victim of a surgical fire, be sure to report what has happened to you. The best way to prevent this from happening to someone else is to promote awareness, including the awareness of reporting organizations.

Be sure to report all fires to your local fire department immediately, and follow up to determine the results of the fire department’s investigation.


Also consider reporting to the following organizations:

The Food and Drug Administration

The FDA has launched a campaign regarding Surgical Fire awareness with several partners, including SurgicalFire.org.  See the FDA web page on prevention and for reporting fires:



* Your state health department -The Centers for Disease Control has posted a list of state health departments.


* The Joint Commission – The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States


* ECRI – A nonprofit health services research agency that tracks, among other things, the incidence of surgical fires.


* MedWatch – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s safety information and adverse event safety reporting program for FDA-regulated drugs and medical products.


* Empowered Patient Coalition – The Coalition collects data from reported incidents to identify the sources of medical harm and to look for ways to keep patients safe in the future.


* SurgicalFire.org – While we aren’t a reporting agency, we want to know of the occurrence of surgical fires so we can continue to help with prevention awareness efforts. Please e-mail us.


“More than nine in 10 Americans (92%) say that reporting of serious medical errors should be required, and most (63%) want this information released publicly. Almost nine in 10 (88%) say that physicians should be required to tell a patient if a preventable medical error resulted in serious harm in the patient’s own care.” – Harvard School of Public Health and Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation news release dated December 12, 2002. – www.kff.org/kaiserpolls/pomr111704nr.cfm


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