The United States Veterans Health Administration (VA) ( has issued a Patient Safety Alert ( mandating the use of thermal fuses (firebreaks) in all its home oxygen patient installations.


The Patient Safety Alert ( requires two thermal fuses, which can prevent patient deaths and limit injuries in the event of an oxygen fire - to be installed on every stationary and portable oxygen system used by its 85,000 home oxygen patients. The change is being phased in over the coming months, with home oxygen installers’ contracts being amended to reflect the new requirement.

The National Fire Protection Association ( estimates that home oxygen fires are responsible for around 3% of all domestic fire deaths in the US. It has also reported that there are on average 1,190 burns each year due to home oxygen fires.


For more information about firebreaks visit