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Evaluation of Health Care Operating Rooms as Wet/Dry Locations


November 22, 2010

Exponent Consultants Melissa Chernovsky, Joel Sipe, and Russ Ogle recently wrote a report on the “Evaluation of Health Care Operating Rooms as Wet/Dry Locations,” for the Fire Protection Research Foundation.

A health care operating room may require special protection for its electrical equipment depending on its classification as either a wet or dry location. These requirements create a safe environment for patients and operating room personnel and have an impact on the design of the electrical distribution system. This study defines and analyzes the hazards associated with hospital operating rooms to clarify the classification type¬—that is, wet location versus dry location—of their electrical environment. It includes a review of the existing literature on fluid spills and electrical hazards in the operating room, a gap analysis for missing information, and a proposed risk assessment method for hospitals to use to evaluate the proper classification of an operating room.

This report was featured in The Fire Protection Research Foundation Newsletter, November/December 2010. Read the full report.