Doncaster firefighters given new 'life-saving' smoke hoods

Firefighters in South Yorkshire have started carrying fire escape hoods to protect people from toxic smoke in a blaze.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 10:37 am
Updated Thursday, 24th June 2021, 10:50 am

The smoke hoods will give up to 15 minutes protection by filtering out the main fire gases carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride and acrolein gases.

They can be worn by conscious or unconscious people. If more than 15 minutes protection is required then another hood can be given to each wearer.

The new equipment comes amongst the innovations fire and rescue services were recommended to adopt following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

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South Yorkshire Fire Services have bought more than 100 new smoke hoods.

They do not provide oxygen, but temporarily filter toxic smoke to make breathing easier. Firefighters will be able to offer people a hood to wear whilst they are being rescued and they will also be used to protect those who aren’t able to escape easily, such as wheelchair users.

Head of Emergency Response Andy Strelczenie, said: “Smoke from fires is extremely toxic and just a few breaths can render you unconscious. These hoods filter out the most dangerous gases.

“These hoods will also provide firefighters with vital extra time to consider their priorities and plan the safest exit route, as opposed to simply getting people out as quickly as possible.

“Fire crews have been trained in their use and we think the money we’ve spent on them is a relatively small price to pay for something which has the potential to save someone’s life.”

More than 100 of the hoods have been bought, under a National Fire Chief’s Council procurement framework.