Re: Smoke/Fire escape hoods

From:         cgwh@chevron.com (Curtis Wheeler)
Organization: CITC/CSD
Date:         24 Aug 94 14:01:59 
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Followups:    1
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In article <airliners.1994.1527@ohare.Chicago.COM> rah@netcom.com (Richard Hyde) writes:

>Over the last year, I've noticed a proliferation of ads for "escape hoods"
>in various safety related publications.  These hoods are composed of
>a flame and heat resistant hood/visor and some sort of filter element.

>The filter is said to remove 94% of smoke and enable regular breathing
>in a smoke filled environment for 20 minutes.

I would question the ability of the small filter to keep you breathing for 20 
minutes in the heavy smoke of a fuel fire.  If you take out 94% of the smoke 
there may not be much of anything left to breath.  Ask a firefighter (I was 
one in the Air Force) if he/she would enter a burning building with just a 
filter - probably not - they wear 20 to 40 minutes of breathing air in a tank. 
Carbon monoxide is deadly and I don't know how you can filter it out without 
filtering out breathable air.  Smoke can be easily filtered because it is made 
of partially burned particles.  I can only imagine that the filter keeps you 
from gaging on the smoke but would not prevent CO poisoning.

The hood on the product I have seen is made of capton.  It has a high 
tolerance for heat.  I used capton tape to wrap transformer windings at a 
manufacturing job I had.  It takes higher heat to melt it than the rest of 
your body could possibly stand.  I don't know how well it reflects heat which 
would be important.

Being a firefighter took some brains but does require a PhD.  Someone tell me 
if they think (or know) that I am just "blowing smoke".


Curtis Wheeler  CGWH@CHEVRON.COM  San Ramon, CA
KD6ELA / GROL PG10-25691 / Pvt. Pilot ASEL