Introduction to the Dräger Parat C hood

draeger-parat-cThe Dräger Parat C is a fire escape hood that fully covers the head, providing 15 minutes of respiratory and eye protection from the toxic gases and fumes produced by fire. The Parat C can be purchased in four different versions; a standard single pack, a soft pack for easy storage, a traveller pack and a twin pack supplied in a wall mounted box.

The hoods are quick to deploy and easy to use, are supplied in one universal size suitable for all ages (including small children), and can be worn by persons with long hair, glasses or beards.

These fire hoods are used for the escape from buildings with long escape routes, are ideal for fire marshals and staff assisting other people to escape from buildings filling with smoke (e.g. teachers in schools). They can be used where smoke from a fire is affecting escape routes. Please note that the hoods will of course not protect you from fire or high temperatures, as the rest of the body is unprotected. If smoke is intense the user needs to move close to the floor where oxygen and cooler air are present.

The Dräger Parat C is fitted with a CO-P2 filter which will protect from the toxic gases shown below:

Chemical Name Description
CO Carbon Monoxide Produced by all fires as a component of smoke, caused by the improper burning of carbon fuels. CO is colourless, odourless and tasteless but highly toxic.Human senses cannot detect CO – symptoms include dizziness, headaches, nausea, stomach pains, breathing difficulties and eventually loss of consciousness.
HCN Hydrogen Cyanide Produced as a by-product of burning combustible everyday materials such as soft furnishings, insulation, clothing, etc. 20 times more toxic that CO. Targets the heart and brain and can incapacitate its victims within a short period of time.
H2S Hydrogen Sulfide Found predominantly in the oil and gas production industry, produced by decaying organic matter and characterised by its strong ‘rotten eggs’ odour. At high concentrations H2S can cause respiratory paralysis, asphyxial seizures and death.
N/A Particles Smoke is a collection of airborne solid and liquid particles, some of which can be highly toxic and cause poisoning when inhaled. When combined with the other by-products of a fire they can cause severe breathing difficulties, long-term illness, loss of consciousness and even death.

 

Watch this short introduction video showing how easy these hoods can be used.

Reviewing domestic fire safety in the light of the recent riots

Now that the rioting seems to have come to an end it is worth considering how to be prepared for similar occurrences in the future. Most of the physical damage, excluding the massive damage to lives and communities, was caused by arson attacks and many people were put at risk by being trapped in their houses by fire.
There are a few precautions one can take to avoid being trapped by fire and to reduce the risk from arson.

Make arson attacks more difficult

It is easy for rioters to pour petrol through a letterbox and to throw a match after it. The impact is devastating. The fire races through the house and the main exit is blocked by fire. However, you can protect yourself by installing an anti-arson letterbox. These fire protection bags sit behind the letter slot and normally just catch your mail. However, they also will contain any flammable liquid poured through the letter opening and automatically extinguish any fire in the letterbox with a small automatic extinguisher or intumescent materials built into the anti-arson letterbox.

Stop your soft furnishing catching fire

You can reduce the flammability of curtains, carpets and soft furnishing in entrance areas by treating them with fire retardant spray. These sprays make fabrics less flammable and thus reduce the impact of a fire bomb thrown into a building.

Protect your most valuable documents from fire

Place your most valuable and personal items in a fireproof box. These fireproof boxes are ideal for valuable photos, passports, certificates etc. Special fireproof boxes for electronic data protection will protect your familiy videos and electronically stored data/photos. Some of the boxes are also water tight, which is important in case the fire brigade have to douse the flames with water and foam.

Ensure you have a second route of escape

Do you have a second escape route if the hallway is in flames? Make sure you can open upstairs windows to escape. If they do not open, keep a hammer or a dedicated  emergency escape hammer near the windows. If the fire brigade cannot easily reach an upstairs window, consider a fire escape ladder which can be hooked over a window sill in an emergency.

Don’t suffocate from the smoke

Smoke from house fires is extremely toxic. A few breaths will overwhelm you and render you unconscious. If the house is filled with smoke, crawl along the floor towards the nearest exit.  Wrap a wet cloth over your face if you have to run through smoke or fire, however, you must not breathe in the smoke due to the extreme tocicity! Consider having a fire escape hood in the house. These hoods cover your head and filter the fumes of the fire. This gives you valuable time to escape through smoke.

Make sure you can extinguish small fires yourself

During the riot the fire brigades were stretched by the number of fires. As a result their response time will not have been as fast as usual. Make sure you can tackle small fires yourself by having buckets of water at the ready or equip yourself with fire extinguishers

Make sure you can extinguish a person on fire

Keep a non-flammable blanket or large fire blanket at the ready to wrap around a person or roll the person on the floor to extinguish the flames. Have a bucket of water placed in a suitable place or ensure that you have a water fire extinguisher.

Fire Drill

Ensure that you know how you will escape from your home if a fire blocked the main exit. If you have children talk to them in a calm manner about what to do if there is a fire. If the child is particularly clingy to one parent, get that parent to lead the way out of the building. The child will be more willing to leave the building that way.

Ensure that you have working smoke alarms fitted to alert you to a fire. Make sure you check that they are working on a regular basis and that they are never left without a battery in them.

It’s the smoke that kills…

There is a fire in your house, the staircase is full of smoke preventing you from escaping – unless you have a fire escape hood.

It is worn over the head and protects the head from heat and thermal radiation, the eyes from harmful irritant gases and can provide protection for 15 minutes from the most toxic gases produced in fires including carbon monoxide, acrolein, hydrogen choloride and hydrogen cyanide. The hood is easy to use, portable and can be easily stored in your home by your bedside. It can also be taken with you for use in hotels and transportation. Make sure you buy your fire escape hood from a reputable company and check it has the right specifications and is CE marked to EN 403:1993. See our fire escape hood information sheet for detailed specifications.

Don’t miss Horizon, BBC2, 21.00, tonight – “How to survive a disaster” – the ultimate guide to disaster survival using survivor testimonies from plane crashes, ferry disasters and even 9/11 and providing a guide to increasing your chances of survival through mindset, techniques and aides including fire escape hoods.