Firemask Promotes Smoke Inhallation Prevention and Awareness.
After three years of research and development, Firemask is proud to present the Firemask FM 60. It is an anti-smoke mask that will allow the user to breathe for 60 minutes in smoke.
A Canadian company that, since 2010, has manufactured masks designed for use in residential and commercial fires is aiming to make smoke protection equipment accessible and affordable for every-one.
According to Firemask company co-founder Bruce Allali, there are about 400 different gases generated in household fi res, including carbon monoxide, acrolein, and hydrochloric acid vapour, among others.
"These are the main gasses that will render you unconscious when you're in a smoke-filled environment," he said.
As per the National Fire Protection Association, most fire related deaths are caused not by the flames but by smoke inhalation that can incapacitate so quickly, victims are quickly over-come, preventing them from reaching an exit.
Furthermore, fire survivors often bear life-long residual effects from breathing in toxins including scarring of the lungs that may lead to cancer.
"The way our masks work is that if there's ever a fire, you put it on and you can breathe for one hour. It's filter will transform cabon monoxide to carbon dioxide with the hopcalite that is in the filter," Allali says.
While firefighters typically wear masks valued between $400 and $700, the Firemask single-use apparatus is available for $29.95 and can give the wearer enough time to safely navigate their way out of a smoke-filled house. The masks use hopcalite, a manga-nese/copper oxide filter to convert carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide.
Though the masks are manufactured at the Drummondville location that employs seven people, Allali said the company's biggest customer base is in Norway following the devastating 2013 Gudvanga Tunnel fire that saw 55 people hospitalized for smoke inhalation effects after a truck crashed and caught fire in the 11.4 kilometre tunnel.
"It's now an obligation in Norway to have one mask per person if you're travelling a tunnel on your daily commute," Allali said that China and The Philippines have a law that requires two masks and extinguishers in any building four storeys and above.
Allali said the reason US and Canada lags behind its overseas counterparts in terms of fire safety equipment is financial.
Allali said he keeps the manufacturing process local in order to ensure quality control meets his, and partner Louis Lepage's, standards. "I want the mask to do what I say it does. There's no way I would sell a mask that wouldn't help somebody survive a fire."
Allali said he's tested the mask himself in control burn situations and did not even taste the smoke.
The one-size-fits-all masks are suitable for both adults and children (above 3 years old) and have a three-year shelf-life.
For more information, consult www.firemask.ca.
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