South Yorkshire fire service invests in 'escape hoods' to protect against toxic fumes and smoke

South Yorkshire fire chiefs have invested in new ‘fire escape hoods’ to protect people from toxic fumes and smoke.

The hoods provide members of the public with up to 15 minutes of protection from four of the main fire gases, including carbon monoxide, and can be worn by conscious or unconscious people.

If protection is required for more than 15 minutes then another hood can be given to each wearer.

They do not provide oxygen, but temporarily filter toxic smoke to make breathing easier.

Firefighters in South Yorkshire now carry fire hoods to help protect people from toxic fumes and smoke

Firefighters will offer people a hood to wear during rescues.

Head of Emergency Response for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, 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 by the fire service.

They were recommended following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017.

A fire ripped through the North Kensington tower block, killing 72 people.

Combustible cladding had helped the flames spread and led to a nationwide debate about fire safety in tall buildings.

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