Protecting Firefighters from Invisible Hazards

Protecting Firefighters from Invisible Hazards

OHS | April 2020

Holly Mazzia | Tuesday, April 28, 2020

When firefighters attack a structure fire, the hazards to life and health are obvious. The flames, the heavy smoke, and the extreme heat are clear reminders of what’s at stake.

What’s often overlooked however, is the danger of gas hazards both during and after a fire. As information on the hidden dangers of fire smoke proliferates, a growing number of firefighters are realizing that gas monitors are a vital part of their turnout gear. Atmospheric testing at fire scenes has shown that toxic fumes are present at every stage of the fire—and without a portable gas detector, there is no way to determine whether the air in the cold zone is actually safe to breathe.