We all need one?

A Fire Hood? Check this out: http://www.n-r-m.com/EVAC-U8/how.htm

and tell me what you think. Seems if they really worked, they’de be standard issue in households, offices, etc. I heard about them on a funny site, actually, but they appear to be an actual product.

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.
Emo Philips (stolen from matt’s webpage)

I guess this is the answer to dougie_monty’s fire escape thread.

One complete set of morals for sale to highest bidder, new in box.

I see your popint, Zette–but could they work in, say, the World Trade Center, the Sears Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid, or the Gas Company building in Los Angeles? What systems do those buildings use?

Dougie said “I see your popint, Zette”

  • you guys, I swear I am fully dressed. No one here has seen my popint. End of story.

If you look at this company’s frontpage, they also imply that the masks are effective against toxic gas attacks. If anything, they are quite a fashion statement :slight_smile:

I can’t vouch for the authenticity of this–but it sounds like something that was standard issue in the coal mines.

I had a friend who, among other things, had worked in coal mines in WV and PA. He described something just like this that he called a “self-rescuer.”

Hey, I’m sorry, Zette!!! That should have read “I see your point!” :o :o :o

I don’t normally call people on typos, but that was a gooooood one. :wink: I couldn’t resist!

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.
Emo Philips (stolen from matt’s webpage)

They look laughable, but not so silly when you’re on the 70th floor and the room is full of cubicle-wall smoke. Smoke inhalation is just a frustrating way to go.

On submarines, you get a gas-mask style breathing apparatus and a hose. Run or crawl until you see a red reflective tread-patch on the floor, then look up; there’s the ship’s oxygen hookup. Join your buddies; there’s only four ports per hookup except on the bridge.

In paper mills and refineries, you get an activated-carbon filter mask and a nose clip. Gotta wear it on your belt at all times. There are blue strobes located throughout… if they go off, run for the gate.

These devices have been around for quite a while now. I remember them being advertised in firefighting trade magazines ten years or so ago. I don’t know of anywhere that has actually utilized them, but for situations like the World Trade Center fire (after it was bombed), these things would be nice. By code, most buildings are required to have smoke control systems. These can be as simple as a smoke detector inside a duct to shut the blower down if smoke is present (on greater than 20,000 cfm systems), or as complicated as pressurizing the floors above and below a fire floor and reducing the pressure on the fire floor itself (the net effect being the smoke can’t communicate to adjacent areas). High rise buildings generally use a rather complicated smoke control system, but they are notorious for not working when they are needed most. Case in point, the World Trade Center bombing.
The first problem is evacuation of a highrise. How do you get 50,000 people out of a 90 floor building in a hurry? Answer: you don’t. Generally, your safest bet is to stay where you are in a highrise fire, the fire should be under control before you’d be able to get out, its easier to keep you where you are. Unfortunately, WTC filled with smoke. People don’t like sitting in an office filled with smoke, so they started to leave the building. That led to the second problem.
Exit stairwells are required to be cut off from smoke and fire from the rest of the building (ever wonder why stairwell doors say “keep door closed?” Keeps the smoke out if there’s a fire). WTC’s stairwells were severed at their bottoms, allowing smoke to get into them. Imagine walking down 75 flights of smoke filled stairs. Thats why in pictures of the bombing, the people who came out have soot under their noses, they were breathing it all the way down from their offices. Had these people had enough of these devices, they could have made it out a lot more comfortably than they did.
Another oh-crap with WTC was the loss of power. Smoke control systems don’t work without electricity. Also, emergency lights only have to work for 3 hours, and thats if they’re up to code. When it takes 4 hours to get out, you’re coming out in the dark (not something I want to do).
From a life safety standpoint, however, I see a few problems with these things. The first one is that the occupants may not leave very quickly if they think they have a supply of breathable air. People do some pretty stupid things during fires (we’ve had fires in our mall, people are in the store shopping while we’re putting the fire out). If there’s a fire, get the hell out! Duh!
Second, they might try to search for or fight the fire. Also a very dumb idea. Thats why you don’t see fire hose inside buildings very much anymore. It’s been found that occupants don’t know when they aren’t having an effect on the fire and its time to get out. When they do realize their efforts aren’t working, its normally after the fire has rolled out of the room and cooked them. The few minutes they spend trying to fight the fire are better spent in evacuation.
The third problem is that this is a respirator, not an SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus {the air tanks firefighters use}) for firefighting use. Respirators take ambient air and filter the bad stuff out, leaving clean air to breathe. “Normal” air is 21% or so oxygen. If there is 19.5% or less oxygen in the air, OSHA says you can’t use a respirator, there’s not enough oxygen in the air for you to safely breathe. Fire takes oxygen from the ambient air and reacts it with whatever is burning, reducing the amount of oxygen in the room. Fires will burn in as low as 9% oxygen. People lose conciousness around (IIRC) 14% or so. Firefighters bring their own clean, 21% oxygenated air in with them in their SCBA. Basically, these hoods will clean out the air you can already breathe, they’re not going to let you go somewhere you couldn’t go already (pass a fire in a hallway, for example). Personal opinion, I wouldn’t put much trust into these devices. Just my thoughts.


I can think of no more stirring symbol of man’s humanity to man than a fire engine - Kurt Vonnegut

Great info! What I was wondering is, why aren’t these things promoted for home fire safety, or to carry with you travelling? I’d never even seen these things, and if they really work it seems like a small percaution to take…

Some mornings it just doesn’t seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps.
Emo Philips (stolen from matt’s webpage)

I could have used this last week when I set the oven on fire!

That’s another thing. What kind of evacuation procedure did the New York Fire Department use in July 1945 when an airplane crashed into the Empire State Building? (Thank God, this was on a Saturday)