Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Your Excuses are Your Own

I’ll bet you already know that over 80% of the fatalities in a fire are caused by smoke inhalation. You probably also know that winter is the most dangerous time of year for home fires. I’m confident that almost everyone that’s reading this blog has properly located smoke detectors in their homes and even takes the time to test them now and again. Here’s the part I don’t understand; why doesn’t anyone I know have a “smoke hood” in their home for each member of the family?

Maybe you haven’t heard of a “smoke hood” and are wondering what it is or maybe you just think it’s a waste of money and you’ll probably never need it. Perhaps you feel that you are already protected with your smoke detectors and nothing else is necessary. Well, I’d like to point out an important fact about smoke detectors because they are aptly named. They are detectors and that’s exactly what they do. They warn you that smoke is where it doesn’t belong and hopefully allow you enough time to get out of the home. They work extremely well and have saved countless lives but the truth is they do not protect you from smoke; they just inform you of its presence.

If someone ran up to me on the street and said “Don’t go in there! There’s a man with a gun!” I certainly would go the other way and the early warning may have even saved my life but how do you do that with smoke? Certainly I want my smoke detectors to warm me as early as possible but I still need to get out quickly and I need to breathe to do that, so do you.

If you aren’t aware of what a smoke hood is there are many different types available but basically it is a chemically treated transparent “bag” or hood that allows you to breathe in the densest of smoke. Here is some information about them that you need to know.
  • As you can see by the picture at the top, smoke hoods are compact and lightweight. They are chemically treated and actually filter out the many toxic chemicals that are present in a home fire. Yes, more often than not the smoke from a fire is poisonous.
  • Smoke hoods offer 100% visibility in all 360 degrees. It’s as easy to see your surroundings wearing a smoke hood as it is without it. It’s hard to escape a fire when you’re blind.
  • Most of the units on the market today will fit everyone from infants to adults. They are extremely easy to use and take very few seconds to put on. It makes no difference if you have long hair, a beard, glasses or a hearing aid; one size truly fits all.
  •  Personally, I prefer the types of hoods that do not have a respirator with a mouth piece. The chemically treated hood allows one to breathe naturally and most importantly, speak naturally. This is vital in an emergency situation whether you are announcing your location to first responders or giving directions to a loved one.
  • The units on the market today can withstand heat above and beyond what a person could not and most of them allow you to breathe filtered air for approximately 20 minutes. That’s more than enough time to get out of danger. They are portable and very lightweight and also help to protect your head, face, neck and lungs from heat.
  • The best part of these modern day marvels is the cost. Depending on the manufacturer some can be purchased for less than $50; that’s amazing.
Now that you know, maybe this year will see something a little bit different in the stockings than usual. And maybe, if you’re one of the lucky ones this is the one gift that will never be used. Now that would be the best gift of all.

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