Automatic fire system valves are available and therefore provision must be
made for the installation of fire detectors in the chambers when they become
available. This entails the planning of reasonable detector locations and
supports and the provision of at least four electrical penetrations for
Minimum Requirements. If the chamber is not equipped with an
installed hose or sprinkler system, the Navy Diving Manual requires as an
absolute minimum a bucket of water and a bucket of sand.
Portable Extinguishers. An improvement over the minimal
two-bucket system is the requirement of the Naval Facilities Engineering
Command that the chamber shall be equipped with at least one 2-1/2-gallon
gas-pressurized water extinguisher. Extinguishers shall bear the label of
Underwriter's Laboratories, Inc., shall have stainless steel shells and shall
be pressurized with air to 200 psig, Extinguishers shall be installed within
the chamber and, if desired, may be supported in a horizontal position to
Prohibited Types. Halogenated compounds are frequently suggested
made which would indicate that breathing halogenated hydrocarbons under
hyperbaric conditions is not toxic.
CO2 Extinguishers. The use of carbon dioxide fire extinguishers
inside chambers is not permitted.
acceptable for use in hyperbaric chambers at this time are water and sand.
sources of fuel, sources of ignition, mechanical hazards, and physiological
and medical hazards all of which contribute to fire and explosions.
CO2 Fire and Explosion.
(1) A fire requires the presence of flammable or combustible
material, oxygen and a source of ignition.
(2) Materials which are noncombustible or nonflammable under
normal atmospheric conditions may become flammable or combustible in a
hyperbaric environment, particularly if the oxygen concentration is
Oxygen. When a chamber is pressurized with air the partial
pressure of oxygen is directly proportional to the increase in absolute
pressure. Almost without exception, as the partial pressure of oxygen is
increased, the fire hazard is increased.
Other sources can contribute to the increase in oxygen partial pressure in
the chamber. When a patient is receiving 100 percent oxygen through a
built-in breathing mask (BIB), the mask will frequently discharge directly