This is a discussion on Need suggestion on Fire Evacuation Masks for the home within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I've seen fire evacuation masks for home use in a wide array of prices; everything from 19 bucks to a couple hundred bucks. Some look ...
I've seen fire evacuation masks for home use in a wide array of prices; everything from 19 bucks to a couple hundred bucks.
Some look like they would take too long to put on in a real fire emergency. Others look like they might be big ripoffs that wouldn't protect much.
Anyone have some knowledge and/or experience with these types of home safety devices? Suggestions?
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I have a pair of MCU 2A/P masks that were given to me by a retired Coastie. They would be handy in a house fire, especially since I have a couple small SCBA tanks w/40mm threads.
Maybe something like that could be found at a surplus store. They can also be had for about $160 here.
It accepts all 40mm NATO threaded filters.
I've seen a wide array of masks claiming breathing times up to 30 minutes, protection from the gases you mention etc. I have no idea if the claims are nonsense or not. I'm sure it would only take a couple of minutes to bail, but, what would you be breathing in that time? Hence the question about masks.
Every house is different, and no two houses will have the same occupancy, layout and needs. Might I suggest a call to the local fire department's Fire Prevention Office? Most will be more than happy to come out and conduct a home fire prevention visit and help you decide on what's best for your relative's house. They can provide information on expected response times, special hazards, and many other areas of concern that will affect and impact the family's particular requirements. We can sit here all night and half of tomorrow debating what is best, but nothing beats a home visit. I conducted hundreds in my past life as a fire inspector, and no two were the same. Just my .02, YMMV.
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Meanwhile, what we have is a furnace and hot water heater in a basement; a kitchen on the main floor, a tv room and spare bedroom on the second floor, and master bedroom and bath on the third. An open stairway connects all.
If a fire starts in the basement, bailing out from the second or third floor would be the only options as the supporting beams for the first floor would go fairly quickly.
If a fire started in the kitchen, it might or might not be possible to take a flying leap down the stairs and out the front door. But if up in the master suite, even with alarms on the other floors which might not get heard, the only sensible way out appears to be through the bedroom window; and even that might not be viable--- a big worry being the fuel oil tank is located beneath two basement windows which front the structure and would blow out allowing flames to crawl up the exterior wall where the escape ladder would have to go.
To use a rear route on the side away from the fuel oil tank, would mean going across an area likely to be heavily filled with smoke to a reach a back window.
Actually, as I'm typing this, I'm starting to think some sort of fire suppression system (not water) is needed in the basement and the kitchen. Any thought on that?
For masks, just make sure if you do go this route that the masks are not one time use since you need to at least be familiar with it and be able to try it on. Some only allow for them to be unpacked once and then their useless. These are usually the cheap ones. This is also seen in some escape ladders also, only good for one deployment. There is no way someone can use these effectively if they haven't at least been able to try it under non stressful conditions first.
As to suppression, be very very careful using a non water suppression system in a residential setting. Systems such as halon or dry chemical have a tendency to remove breathable air so you could kill anyone if the system goes off while they are sleeping.
You get far more bang for your buck by doing drills and having everyone use the equipment that is available to them for escape and fire fighting. Extinguishers too!
i just did a couple of paper for a few classes on in home fire sprinkler systems, both durring construction and post construction retrofits. ill tell you what they are something to look into for the price, and are making a good track record for themselves. google search them, espically scottsdale arizona's study on them. but for the time good smoke detectors save lives, keep the bed room doors shut as your sleeping to help keep the smoke out.
This business of having a 200 gallon fuel oil tank, furnace and gas water heater in a basement is far from a unique situation.
One would think there are ways to deal with the potential problems of leak induced fires down there.
Do you know if there are chemical auto-fire suppression devices where the suppressant would tend to stay within the basement? Where the suppressant gas would not rise rapidly out? The idea of a water only suppressant doesn't seem to make sense if a fuel oil tank leaks or ruptures.
I can see where some gases would just rush up through the house, but are there chemical foams which would spray out and stay in the confines of the basement. Who cares if there is mess down there, it can always be cleaned.
I'm not nearly as worried about the kitchen as I am a basement gas leak or fuel oil leak.
sounds like this house is a prime candidate for an alarm system
I say this since you mention a person in the 3rd floor bedroom may not hear the current alarm going off in the basement
If a system is installed, at the time the smoke/heat alarm goes off in the basement it will sound all over the house. If a monitored system is not wanted there are wireless systems that will send a signal to the other detectors and make them sound off whenever another detector kicks on.
If you look at a suppression system make sure its compatible with persons still being in the house (chemical, breathable air).
Perhaps a sealed fire door on the basement entrance to close at night to help suppress as well as seal off the fire tunnel you mentioned when escaping.
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At work, for those who would happen to be in the area and are not SCBA fitted or qualified, we have these. But, at >$500.00 may be a bit pricey for the home consumer:
The hood goes completely over your head and the cannister can provide 5-10-or 15 minutes of air.
The toxic chemicals emited during a house fire may not kill you right away... but you could be dead the next morning. It's why firefighters now wear SCBA. Too many were dying after the fire call...
It could be worse!
This is what you need, but it may be a little expensive,
Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
I'm also just now getting the idea the the ceiling joists down there, and exposed wood at the bottom side of the first floor flooring, might be coverable with a fire retardant coating---- heh heh, when I was young we'd just blow on some asbestos; can't do that anymore. I wonder what will work for that application nowadays? Anyone know?
I once watched some special on tv, it seems the subject was about the needs of airline passengers evacuating a plane that was on fire. They were experimenting with a brownish colored bag that the passengers would have available to them and place over their heads, giving them a few moments of clean air to de-plane.
The entire time I watched the program I kept thinking how much those bags looked like the bags that my wife uses to cook a turkey in the oven.
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