Homeowners are being encouraged to invest in smoke hoods to help protect them from breathing in toxic fumes if they are stuck inside a burning building.
Ian Batcheldor and Russell Bremner, from Gravesend, Kent have launched Firemask.co.uk to sell the masks to help find a solution to potentially saving the lives of people caught in a fire in the future.
According to figures smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death in fires.
It’s been reported it causes between an estimated 50 and 80 per cent of fire fatalities.
The smoke hoods provide 60 minutes of filtered, breathable air even if the air filled with toxic fumes and thick smoke.
Co-owner Ian Bacheldor said: “Smoke inhalation is the biggest threat to life in a fire, and our masks are designed to combat exactly that.
“for every minute someone is in a smoke-filled environment, the chance of survival decreases by 10% so our masks greatly improve the chance of survival”
“The clear visor improves visibility when surrounded by smoke, and the RPD60 model comes with gloves that can be used in temperatures up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, making the possibility of escaping rooms with red-hot handles much easier.
“Not to mention being able to breathe for up to 60 minutes courtesy of the filter!
“There was a lot of talk of what could have been done to reduce the number of casualties in the Grenfell fire, including the use of smoke hoods.
“However, we noticed these hadn’t been bought to market months after the event.
“So we wanted to find a solution to hopefully save lives in the future.
“The masks provide 60 minutes of filtered, breathable air when surrounded by smoke, giving the wearer much more chance of escaping a fire-engulfed building.
They can be put on in a matter of seconds and are fitted with an elasticated neoprene neck band which is very comfortable and creates a snug fit around the neck to prevent smoke entering the hood.
Children as young as 3 can also wear them.
Ian adds: “Our masks can be used anywhere a fire may break out – residents in tower blocks are probably the most likely to find our smoke hoods a good idea, but they can help workers in office blocks and residents of care homes just as well, for example.
“Luckily not one of our customers have had the need to use the masks, but the overall feeling is that they are buying peace of mind should the worst happen.
“We have had compliments on both the quality of the masks and the packaging as the FM60’s plastic case can be hung on a wall in the most appropriate place should it need to be used in an emergency.
“The RPD60 comes vacuum-sealed in a handy zip-up travel case, ideal for keeping in your car or bed-side drawer, for example.”