en-Gauge Partners Demo Medical Oxygen Monitoring System
The O2Alert System continuously monitors the level of oxygen in a portable tank, eliminating the surprise and inconvenience of an empty cylinder. The O2Alert System solves the problem of difficult to read or hidden oxygen gauges and reduces the chance of unexpected and often dangerous low-oxygen situations.
Local alerts include easy-to-read blinking lights, voice alerts and audible chimes.
Remote alerts can be passed to any device that can be connected to the Internet.
The O2Alert System is brought to you by a partnership between The Respiratory Group and MIJA Industries.
Class A Fire Extinguisher - also called Type A Fire Extinguishers
A Class A fire extinguisher consists of a hand held cylindrical pressure vessel and an agent that can be used to extinguish an ordinary fire. For a Class A extinguisher, that agent is water, and a Class A Extinguisher is effective against ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cardboard, and most plastics.
All fire extinguishers fight fire by utilizing an agent to act upon the chemistry of the fire by removing one or more of the three elements necessary to maintain fire—commonly referred to as the fire triangle. The three sides of the fire triangle are fuel, heat, and oxygen. The agent acts to remove the heat by cooling the fuel or to produce a barrier between the fuel and the oxygen supply in the surrounding air. Once the fire triangle is broken, the fire goes out. In the case of a Class A extinguisher, the agent cools the fuel and breaks the triangle.
The numerical rating on Class A extinguishers indicates the amount of water it holds and the amount of fire it can extinguish. Information on the numerical rating can be found on the label on the device
There are many types of fires, and there is no single type of fire extinguisher that can suppress all types of fires. While water has proven effective in extinguishers used against wood, paper and plastic fires (Class A), a Type A fire extinguisher should never be used on an electrical fire as it is an electrical conductor. For this reason, it is not safe as an agent to fight electrical fires where live circuits are present (Class C). In addition, Class A extinguishers should also not to be used to fight flammable liquid fires (Class B), especially in tanks or vessels. In this instance, water can cause an explosion due to flammable liquids floating on the water and continuing to burn. In addition, a powerful stream of water can splatter the burning liquid to other combustibles.Furthermore, Class A extinguishers should not be used to fight metal fires (Class D) where flaming metals such as magnesium and titanium.
In Class A or water fire extinguishers, the water can freeze inside the extinguisher at lower temperatures. If you plan on keeping your Type A fire extinguisher in areas subject to below freezing temperatures, anti-freeze water extinguisher are available, which uses a non-flamable anti-freeze to prevent the liquid in the extinguisher from freezing.
All Class A fire extinguishers must be monitored an maintained according to local, state and federal codes. Electronic monitoring of extinguishers, like that provided by the en-Gauge electronic monitoring system, is available for all Class A fire extinguishers
As Real time location systems become more widely deployed and used to track vital equipment, especially in healthcare facilities, manufacturing plants and the hospitality industry, businesses are starting to look to integrate critical life safety equipment in their RTLS deployments. Devices such as employee distress medallions, medical oxygen tanks, fire extinguishers, AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators), IV pumps and many others are being integrated into RTLS infrastructure providing businesses with tremendous ROI through improved process and reduced inventory, as well as substantially lowered risk and improved life safety.
RTLS systems are wireless networks deployed inside of facilities, that in conjunction with RFID tags and a software layer, provide businesses with insight into exactly where on their campus each piece of tracked equipment resides at any point in time. In addition, sensors play an important role in life safety monitoring as well.
Fire Extinguishers and RTLS
Does the fire extinguisher in the northern hallway, on the 4th floor of the Green building have pressure? Has it been removed, or are there obstructions in front of it that may make it difficult or impossible to access? These sensors provide information into the “state” of the equipment, while the RTLS solution provides insight into the “Location” of each device.
This insight leads to substantial opportunities for process improvement and improved life safety. Your facility team is notified the instant an extinguisher is removed, becomes depressurized or is blocked, leading to a reduction in vandalism, rapid response to emergencies (and insight into where the extinguishers are being used), and dramatically improved maintenance and replacement cycles ensuring that these critical devices are available, accessible and ready in an emergency.
Medical Oxygen and RTLS
As another example, consider medical oxygen tanks in a hospital. Today, most organizations have a highly decentralized and inefficient system for managing their oxygen inventory. Nurses and other care providers are responsible for identifying empty cylinders and replacing them. The disorganized process leads to bloated inventory levels, unnecessary refills and life threatening emergencies when finding a full cylinder is difficult.
With RTLS systems and smart gauges, central maintenance teams are notified the moment a cylinder begins to run low and the exact location of that cylinder. They are able to ensure that there is plenty of available oxygen at each location ensuring RN’s are no longer searching for and replacing cylinders in a rush. Understanding the state of the oxygen inventory results in substantial reductions in the necessary cylinder inventory on site. Early indications are that medical oxygen monitoring utilizing an RTLS system will provide a $500 per bed / per year savings over existing processes.
Each additional type of life safety device that is brought into an RTLS system has their own compelling value proposition. To learn more about how RTLS systems and life safety monitoring systems work, contact en-Gauge today to speak with one of our experts.
en-Gauge Inc in Rockland Ma. continues to grow and strengthen its partnerships throughout the fields of safety asset management. en-Gauge’s safety asset monitoring technology has three divisions; en-Gauge to monitor the condition of fire extinguishers, en-Vision that monitors the readiness of safety equipment and en-O2 which ensures the viability of a medical and industrial gases within healthcare and other occupancies.
A third major concern that businesses must be aware of is empty or depressurized extinguishers. This is especially concerning, because the extinguisher is available and accessible, but when the user tries to fight the fire, the fire extinguisher does not function properly. A non-pressurized fire extinguisher is a code violation and an example of the type of concern the 30-day fire extinguisher inspection is meant to address. Unfortunately, it is a concern that is all to common as the 30-day fire extinguisher inspection leaves large windows of vulnerability (if they are performed at all).
As with missing and blocked fire extinguishers, it is easy to find depressurized (either through previous discharge or a slow leak) fire extinguishers in buildings. Here are some examples of depressurized or empty fire extinguishers I"ve found in the last few months:
Depressurized or Empty Fire Extinguishers
Sorry about the focus on this one, I was just getting used to my new iPhone
Empty or depressurized fire extinguishers are a serious life safety risk. They are meant to be identified and addressed during the monthy, 30-day fire extinguisher inspections. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of these inspections are actually performed and that puts lives at risk. The 30 day window between inspections also is a substantial concern. A much more effective method for complying with NFPA 10 is electronic monitoring of extinguishers which keeps track of the pressure in your extinguishers 24 X 7 X 365.
Medical oxygen is a vital component of quality healthcare in the United States and around the world with tens of thousands of people a day relying on it in emergencies and for quality-of-life. With such extensive usage and resultant inconsistent processes, managing medical oxygen is a substantial and costly challenge for every healthcare operator - from hospitals to assisted living facilities and hospice providers. Electronic monitoring and tracking of medical oxygen allows healthcare businesses to substantially improve their internal processes, enhance patient care, lower risk and reduce costs. But what is electronic medical oxygen monitoring?
What is Medical Oxygen Monitoring - Electronic Medical Oxygen Monitoring Defined.
To effectively remotely monitor a healthcare facility's medical oxygen inventory, two critical pieces of data must be tracked.
1. Pressure: Each medical oxygen canister is equipped with a pressure gauge to indicate whether the tank is running low. Generally it is up to RNs and other care providers to manually keep an eye on these gauges, determine when the canisters are at risk of running out, and scramble to find and replace these cannisters. With electronically monitored oxygen, the gauges are replaced by "smart gauges" that communicate wirelessly back to a centralized monitoring location that immediately notifies the appropriate personnel when a cannister is starting to run low on air pressure. This notification can take place in a variety of ways - smartphone, email, text message - and allows healthcare providers to lower risk and avoid potentially catastrophic mistakes.
2. Location: In addition to the pressure of a particular canister, it is important to know exactly where each canister is in the facility at any point in time. As oxygen cannisters are often mobile along with patients and equipment, having real-time location information allows healthcare operators to effectively respond to medical oxygen issues, including empty canisters, or locating a full canister in the event of an emergency. Integrating the medical oxygen inventory into a healthcare facility's existing RTLS (Real-Time Location Service) allows for rapid deployment of the location tracking of medical oxygen inventory.
Benefits of Electronic Medical Oxygen Monitoring
Tracking the location and pressure of your medical oxygen inventory results in a variety of benefits for a healthcare provider including improved patient care, lower costs, lowered insitutional risk, reduced inventory and re-allocation of work to the appropriate human resources. Some highlights include:
Process Improvement - With instant notification anytime an oxygen canister is running low and the exact location of that canister, healthcare operators can eliminate the scramble associated with identifying an empty extinguisher and finding a replacement (generally agreed to take approximately 10 to 15 minutes per RN per shift). Additionally, maintenance personnel - as opposed to high priced RNs - can manage the replacement of the canisters before they become a concern, enhancing patient care.
Inventory Right-sizing - Because of inefficiencies in process and the wide array of individuals interacting with the medical oxygen inventory, hospitals and healthcare facilities often rent and maintain substantially more medical oxygen inventory than they need. For many organizations electronic medical oxygen monitoring can result in a 30% or more reduction in canister inventory. Additionally, improved processes and electronic monitoring of pressure can result in a near elimination of unnecessary re-charges of full or mostly full canisters (a very common problem in healthcare).
Lower costs - Elimination of unneccessary inventory and canister refills, the redistribution of responsibilities from RNs to lower cost maintenance personnel, process improvements and procurement improvements can add up to big savings. Some hospitals estimate the savings at $500 or more per year per bed.
Improved Care - Most importantly, electronic medical oxygen monitoring leads to improved care by dramatically lowering the risk associated with unneccesary empty or missing medical oxygen tanks.