Smoke Masks & Emergency Evacuation, Is your Center In Compliance?

NFPA 99 Chapter 20 ( states that a source of breathable gas allowing unrestricted mobility shall be available outside a Class A or B chamber for use by personnel in the event that the air in the vicinity of the chamber is fouled by smoke or other combustion products of fire. 

This section of the NFPA 99 speaks to a situation where if there was a fire in the room where your chambers are located (and assuming the chambers have patients in them), how will you deal with the smoke in the room while trying to decompress 2 or more patients and evacuate them without putting yourself and other staff at risk of being overcome by the smoke?  An excerpt from Ken Capek’s article in the RT Focus Journal states “This standard can be met by having a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) or “smoke hood” with filtration system. The specific type of hood you purchase should be based on the time it takes to actually evacuate a patient. The evacuation duration time can only be known by performing an evacuation drill in your facility. Practice using the hood, but do not remove the airtight filter plugs for the drill or they will need to be replaced.”
For those that do not have smoke masks available in their center yet I have done a little research and found a couple of options. These products I have linked to below meet the requirements of NFPA 99 Chapter 20. The Xcaper Enterprise Smoke Mask Kit is only good for a minimum of 15 minutes.
The Dräger Smoke Hood Kit is also good for a minimum of 15 minutes as well.


5 thoughts on “Smoke Masks & Emergency Evacuation, Is your Center In Compliance?

  1. That Xcaper looks pretty shoddy, go with the drager. Your trusting this device with not only your life but also that of your patient(s).

  2. The Xcaper product is can actually be used for 30 minutes, not 15 as stated above. Both Xcaper and Drager manufacture quality products, that one should research to determine which suites their needs. A blanket statement of “shoddy” or “trusting with life…” is not useful in determining product application.

    • Actually the XCaper product states in their technical manual that; “The Xcaper Enterprise Smoke Mask Kit has been tested in accordance with EN 403:2004, and is designed to provide respiratory protection for a minimum of 15 minutes
      from smoke, carbon monoxide, acrolein, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen cyanide and particulate matter as well as other dangerous gases.”

      Which means that they are saying that this mask, as I stated above IS GOOD FOR A MINIMUM OF 15 MINUTES AS REFERENCED IN THE MANUAL:

  3. The down side to the XCaper is the lack of eye protection. The goggles provided with the XCaper may not work with glasses, per the manual (the Draeger unit will), which could prove to be a substantial disadvantage in a smoke-filled environment. You not only have to breathe, but you do have to see as well.

  4. Our facility has the XCaper, and personally, I don not see confidence in that product to protect me. Regardless of compliant or not, as mentioned above, the eye protection is a film of plastic with foam 3/8″ foam that surrounds the edges of the so-call eye protection. Certainly it is do-able.

    What I have come across recently is what I seen at a friends facility, which is similar to the Drager. I have not checked if they have a training model to use for drills, but well worth looking into.

    I am not truly endorsing the product at this point, but recommend due-diligence.

    Per the documentation:


    * Smoke and Fire safety Hood Mask conforms with USFA-FEMA standards.
    * European Standard EN 403.
    * Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1716:1994.
    * Thailand Disaster Prevention Department of the Interior Ministry.
    * Japanese Standard 248.

    and.. It’s reasonably priced…

    Here is the link for what I found:

    I don’t know how long the company’s been around, or any other history..

    If anyone else has one, let me know!

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