Medical Gas Area Alarms in Healthcare Facilities
A medical gas area alarm monitors the pressure of the gases in an area served by a zone valve. The NFPA 99 2012 requires that all critical care areas have an area alarm with sensors installed on the patient or the side of each zone valve box assembly. The NFPA 99 2012 also requires an area alarm to be present for anesthetizing locations where moderate sedation, deep sedation, or general anesthesia is administered. The area alarm for the anesthetizing location shall have the sensors installed either on the source side of any of the individual room zone valve box assemblies, on the patient, or on the side of each of the individual zone valve box assemblies.
Medical Gas Area Alarm Panel Monitoring
The medical gas area alarm panels for medical gas systems shall indicate if the pressure in the lines in the area being monitored increases or decreases by 20 percent from the normal line pressure. For example, if the normal oxygen pressure is 50 PSI the area alarm shall indicate a low-pressure alarm when the line pressure is below 40 psi and the alarm shall indicate a high-line pressure alarm when the line pressure is above 60 PSI. Area alarm panels for medical–surgical vacuum systems shall indicate if the vacuum in the area drops to or below 300 mm (12 in.) gauge HgV. There is no such thing as a high-pressure vacuum alarm.
Medical Gas Area Alarm Location
The medical gas area alarms shall be located at a location that is in or near the area served. Typically you want the alarms to be right next to the zone valve that it monitors or at the nurses’ station of the area or control room that it monitors.