The Facts About Fires
Did you know?
- The nature of each fire can be very different, but the greatest chance of escaping a fire is in the first 15 minutes
- Smoke masks and evacuation packs can help you escape a fire or smoke filled room
- Without access to a smoke filtering device, you are four times more likely to be critically injured from smoke than fire
- Smoke is often produced very quickly after a fire starts
- Smoke can easily cause uncontrollable choking rendering that person immobile
- Smoke masks remove the vast majority of smoke particles for a minimum of 15 minutes providing a window of opportunity to escape
- Carbon Monoxide is both toxic and flammable but if this gas reaches specific levels in inhaled air it will render the victim unconscious.
- An unconscious person in a fire situation has far less chance of survival.
- A smoke mask that can effectively remove Carbon Monoxide and can greatly reduce that risk
- Propenal (acrolein)/Hydrogen Chloride/Hydrogen Cyanide can be produced as a result of fires and they are all harmful or toxic.
- Smoke hoods and masks will remove the majority of these gases
Heat & Flames
- The levels of heat in a fire can vary depending upon the nature of that fire but smoke hoods will provide some protection to your face, lungs and eyes from heat
What does the law say about Emergency Evacuation?
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999:
Clause 8(1)(a) states that for procedures for serious and imminent danger and for danger areas:
Every employer shall establish and where necessary give effect to appropriate procedures to be followed in the event of serious and imminent danger to persons at work in his undertaking
Clause 8(2)(a) goes on to state that:
So far as is practicable, require any persons at work who are exposed to serious and imminent danger to be informed of the nature of the hazard and of the steps taken or to be taken to protect them from it
One of the first and natural human reactions to fires is to panic. An effective smoke mask can literally provide ‘breathing space’ to help you escape - the clearer the thinking the greater the likelihood of safe escape
- Get the highest specification smoke hood/mask that you can afford that suits your circumstances
- Know how to don the smoke hood/mask; you won’t have time to learn if a fire starts near you. If you need advice or training we can provide this also
- Where possible choose an Emergency Evacuation Pack that contains your choice of smoke hood. These packs also contain other effective items that can help you escape a fire