Protecting firefighters from the particulates found in soot and smoke has become an increasing concern for both brigades and firefighters themselves.

There’s lots of information about why particulates are considered dangerous and how to stay protected but there’s one major area of vulnerability – the head and neck.

What’s a particulate flash hood?

Standard firefighting kit protects from particulates by catching them on the outside of the three layers of a firefighting suit. A membrane inside the garments means the particulates can’t penetrate through to get on to the skin, and potentially into a firefighter’s bloodstream.

But if firefighters wear their kit and just a helmet and standard flash hood the face and neck is left exposed without any protection from the soot and smoke which carries particulates.

Specific particulate flash hoods cover the neck and head to ensure that there is maximum protection from particulates. They should fit snugly under the helmet so firefighters can get on with the job in comfort.

What particulate flash hood options are there?

Fire-fighting hoods are generally made to cover the head and neck, or head, neck and shoulders, depending on the intended use.

Some brigades have used double-layer flash hoods but without a membrane, which were widely considered as almost disposable because of the relatively low cost. But they don’t provide particulate protection.

Lots of particulate hoods are made from the same material and in the same way as standard turn-out kit. This means they use a membrane between the fabric to ensure that particulates can’t penetrate through.

But this method of making particulate hoods makes them heavy, inflexible and not breathable – something which can increase the chances of heat stress, one of the top causes of injury to firefighters.

Older versions of fire hoods have previously been manufactured without particulate protection because the research about particulates and their dangers came to the fore in 2017.

As experts in fire-fighting kit, Flame Pro has developed a new particulate flash hood which not only protects from the particles known to cause cancer and other illnesses but is also lighter and comfier than other hoods.

Why choose FlamePro’s particulate flash hood?

Flame Pro’s new particulate flash hood utilises Nomex ® Nano Flex, a high-performance material developed specifically to be thinner than standard Fire Resistant (FR) materials. The revolutionary fibre enables a particulate protection flash hood to be as comfortable as a standard hood by allowing air through, but not particulates. It’s also lighter and more flexible.

According to fabric makers DuPont: “A highly breathable FR material with exceptional elasticity and superior particle barrier performance, Nomex® Nano Flex is also thinner and lighter weight than other FR materials…In fact, it results in up to a 4X increase in particle barrier efficiency.”

The Flame Pro one-size-fits-all new generation particulate flash hood is designed to be laundered, making it much better value than other options for head and neck protection which are worn a few times and then disposed of.

Incredibly, the hood provides up to 96% filtration which actually increases with laundering – and it’s not significantly more expensive than other options.

Other benefits include:

• Low noise – unlike hoods made from PTFE or PU, noise from the hood is very low

• Exceptional breathability – it doesn’t trap heat like PTFE/PU options

• Outer shell DWR finish – allows it to dry faster, reducing the build-up of toxic residues

The particulate flash hood also conforms to BS13911, and NFPA 1971 2018, which is the only published standard for particulate protection flash hoods.

To chat to one of our friendly team about the benefits of our particulate flash protection hood, give us a call on +44 (0) 1332 341030.

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