New smoke escape hoods for fire and rescue service

West Sussex, East Sussex and Surrey fire and rescue services will now carry smoke hoods on their fire engines.


Release date: 19 October 2021

A new piece of rescue equipment to help keep people safe in the event of a fire is being rolled out to all West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service fire engines.

The fire service has worked with colleagues in East Sussex and Surrey fire and rescue services to procure and introduce smoke escape hoods for members of the public to use in the event of a fire.

A smoke escape hood is worn over the head and prevents any smoke or toxic gasses from getting in. The hoods are designed to enable the person to breathe safe, clean air in smoke filled atmospheres whilst they escape from the building.

Firefighters will use the smoke escape hood if they need to evacuate the public, rescue someone or keep them safe from smoke. All firefighters are trained in how to safely assess a situation and fit the smoke escape hoods to people if needed.

In the event that a smoke hood is required, firefighters will help and assist a person in putting on a smoke escape hood and will ensure they feel comfortable and safe. Once the smoke escape hood is fitted, firefighters will stay with the person whilst they are led to safety.

Mark Andrews, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said: “These new smoke escape hoods are a fantastic addition to our fire engines that will help keep people safe from many toxic gases and smoke that arise in the event of a fire.

“Inhaling smoke during a fire can have long-lasting implications, but these smoke escape hoods are designed to try and mitigate some of that impact.

“I am really pleased that we, with our colleagues in East Sussex and Surrey, have been able to introduce these new smoke escape hoods as a further measure to help keep people living in our communities safe from harm.”

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