The Hot Shield Firefighter Face Mask is a multiple layer, highly flame resistant, patented face protector mask designed by firefighters for use in all wildland firefighting operations. The Hot Shield offers extreme protection against burns to the face/neck with the added benefit of blocking & reducing the inhalation of smoke & ash particulate. Multiple layers of CarbonX® help maintain the crucial airspace in front of skin needs to survive extreme temperatures. The soft comfortable inside liners (also CarbonX) absorb perspiration, adding to user comfort.
- Extreme thermal protection against extreme conditions
- New larger Air Exchange Design for easier breathing
- Multiple layer with airspace design for comfort and protection
- Lightweight, only 6 oz./168g including filter
- Comfortable, one size fits all
- New optional use tri-band headstrap for better comfort and fit
- Sandwiched aluminum nose pinch bar for a more comfortable fit
- Hangs loose around neck until needed
- FR Velcro closures and 3M Reflective trim for night time visibility
- Low maintenance - Available low cost, activated carbon filters last for more than 8 hours (no more styrene foam beads or gooey gel filters)
- Numerous laboratory and field tests…proven protection
Twin layers of CarbonX mesh at the center ventilation orifice allowing easy air exchange and helps prevent build-up of CO2. The patented, user-friendly design allows the firefighter to insert an activated carbon, low cost disposable particle filter with exhalation valve.
CarbonX is the only inherently non-flammable fabric in the world. This fabric will not burn, ignite, char, shrink or decompose at temperatures up to and exceeding 2600°F, even for extended periods of time. (See FAQ for more info on this fabric)
The Hot Shield weighs 4.0 oz. (112 g), incorporates reflective trim for night time visibility and is classified as an interface component of Wildland PPE. Its performance under fire & smoke has led to acceptance in industries other than wildland firefighting where these hazards are common to the workplace.
This product comes with 1 carbon filter included
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OF THE HOT SHIELD LINEUP AND THE MODEL HS-2 IN PARTICULAR
Q: WHAT IS THE HOT SHIELD? IS THERE MORE THAN ONE?
A: When people say “Hot Shield”, they usually mean the HS-2 model, the most popular and best selling model, however there are a variety of facial protection masks, shrouds and fire resistant housings. All of the masks, housings and helmet shrouds protect the users facial areas from heat & flame. However, each model offers differing levels of airborne particulate and respiratory relief. The HS-2 model uses an integral “filter pocket” to allow installation of a low-level N-95 filter. The UB-V2 model does not use or have a filter pocket; it uses a double layer of screening mesh. Our design is so unique it was granted U.S. Patents (# 5,628,308 & 5,823,188).
Q: WHY WOULD SOMEBODY NEED THIS MUCH PROTECTION? ISN’T THIS “OVERKILL”?
A: Burns are arguably the worst survivable injury a human can sustain. Many firefighters have been overrun by fast moving fires, sustaining severe burns to the face, neck and ears. The PPE most firefighters have used for face & neck protection for years simply did not do enough to protect the skin. The choice of poor PPE often results in inadequate air exchange, 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree burns and inhalation of of smoke & ash particulate. The face is especially vulnerable and exposed. Should you suffer a facial burn, you cannot easily cover it up, disguise the injury or look the same as you did before the incident.
Some argue that this much protection gives a firefighter a “false sense of security”. We respectfully disagree. Our opinion is that your training should tell you when to go in or leave your environment. Tools and equipment should offer the highest protection level possible when it comes to delicate human skin tissue, which burns at a mere 116 degrees F. Our personal experience in the California Firestorms of 1993 spurred us to invent something to protect our own skin. The Hot Shield lineup serves to reduce these risks in a major way.
Q: HOW DOES THE HOT SHIELD FACE MASKS & HOUSINGS PROTECT ME?
A: In general, our products greatly reduce the risk of burns to your face by the use of highly thermally resistant materials combined with our patented design. The outer shell of every Hot Shield mask, shroud or respirator housing is made of super tough & extreme fire resistant CarbonX fabric. CarbonX is an inherently non-flammable fabric that will not burn, melt, drip, ignite, shrink, or char when exposed to direct flame or extreme heat; are highly resistant to molten metal splash, flammable liquids, and certain chemicals. The CarbonX thermal protective properties will not wash out or wear away. CarbonX accomplishes this with less weight than traditional PPE materials.
When exposed to intense heat or flame, the CarbonX fiber blend carbonizes and then expands, eliminating any oxygen content within the fabric, tested to achieve an astonishing Limit of Oxygen rating of 55. CarbonX products combine an extreme level of protection with maximum comfort. They are lightweight, soft to the touch, and flexible, wearing much like cotton. They also breathe well, wick away moisture, and dry quickly, enhancing the wearer’s comfort and productivity and reducing the potential for fatigue and heat stress.
CarbonX was initially developed by a race car driver after he suffered severe burns and is used extensively in that industry in racing suits & gloves. Hot Shield USA has been using CarbonX exclusively since November 2001.
The HS-2 also provides a measure of respiratory relief by the physical barriers of twin layers of “mesh” fabric and the integral use of a N-95 filter.
Q: IS THE HOT SHIELD HS-2 COMPLIANT WITH NFPA STANDARDS?
A: To date, NFPA Standard #1977 Wildland Protective Clothing and Equipment does not contain a category for “face masks”. Until then, it is our understanding and those of everyone else we have consulted on this issue, until this is established, no face mask has a standard to be tested to. Consequently, firefighters, users, workers, employers are free to choose whatever face mask they wish to protect themselves or their employees from the hazards of heat and flame.
However it is important to know all the facets surrounding “wildland face masks”, “wildland respirators” and applicable regulatory standards in order to obtain a true & clear understanding of heretofore very confusing issue. We offer the following logical, linear numbered items in order to help you understand the entire issue. Then you can make an informed decision for yourself, your department and/or your employees.
- NFPA Standard #1977 does not contain a specific category for a “face mask”. It does contain a category for a “face/neck shroud”. Face masks and face/neck shrouds are not the same and although can overlap, are not the same piece of equipment nor are they designed to be the same.
- Until a “face mask” category is written into NFPA Standard #1977, no product or face mask has a standard or bench mark to follow and/or be tested to. This includes the Hot Shield HS-2 and any other face mask available on the market.
- The Hot Shield HS-2 is a face mask, not a respirator.
- All Hot Shield masks, including the HS-2, far exceed the thermal protection performance requirement minimums of any & all categories listed in NFPA Standard #1977 (pants, shirts, etc), as well as NFPA Standard #1971 and #2112.
- The thermal protection performance minimums in NFPA Standard #1977 are set low; even FR cotton will “meet or exceed” the Standard.
- Human skin will begin to burn at approximately at a mere 116 degrees F. If a chosen piece of protective clothing meets the minimum thermal protective performance, but cannot adequately prevent the inside temperature from rising beyond 116 degree F for more than 1 second of time, your skin will suffer a burn. Logic dictates our skin must be adequately protected from the workplace hazard that may be encountered.
- NFPA #1984 “Standard on Respirators for Wildland Fire-Fighting Operations” does have specific and detailed requirements for a “wildland respirator”. However, it is our understanding that no manufacturer has been able to create a wildland respirator that can meet or exceed this Standard. In essence, a Standard was created in absence of an actual device. Fire departments are free to choose whether to adopt Standard #1984 or not.
Q: ARE ANY OF THE HOT SHIELD PRODUCTS RESPIRATORS?
A: No. Respiratory relief is achieved differently for every model. The HS-2 provides a measure of respiratory relief but not a perfect one. It has an integral filter pocket that accommodates any low-level N-95 or P-2 filter. Our replacement filters are steam activated carbon sandwiched by twin layers of cotton media and an exhalation valve. Inexpensive and efficient for the job. These filters do not become useless after being exposed to air, unlike the gooey wet filters the “other guys” sell. The UB-V2 Ultimate Bandanna uses a double layer of CarbonX knit mesh to block large airborne ash particles. The UNI-V2 Ultra Shroud Extreme uses the same concept but in a helmet shroud. However, both of these products cannot remove or obstruct the finer airborne particulate.
Q: CAN THE HOT SHIELD PROTECT ME FROM SUPERHEATED AIR?
A: No. Only a positive pressure breathing apparatus can do that! However, in an environment like wildland firefighting operations, where a SCBA is impossible or impractical, the only remaining option is a negative pressure filtration device combined with extreme heat protection....which is exactly what the HS-2 can offer.
Q: WHAT FILTERS DO THE MODEL HS-2 COME WITH? CAN I USE MY OWN?
A: If sold in the USA, each packaged HS-2 contains two (2) activated carbon, low-level, N-95 filters. If sold in some countries, customs regulations forbids the inclusion of N-95 filters (Europe for example). These are activated carbon sandwiched by cotton media with an exhalation valve. Inexpensive and fairly efficient. You can use any N-95 filter you wish,or even leave the filter out, although that defeats the purpose). You don't have to buy our use our specific filters necessarily.
Q: ARE YOUR HOT SHIELD MASKS & SHROUDS COMPATIBLE WITH ALL FIRE HELMETS and CAN I USE MY CURRENT SHROUD?
A: Models HS-2 and UB-V2 are “stand-alone” masks that do not interfere with any helmet. The basic standard shroud made of Nomex based fabric typically will not wrap completely over these models, but usually will wrap and fasten below the air exchange opening of the HS-2 and UB-V2. We recommend the use of our Ultra Shroud Extreme Helmet Shroud made of CarbonX which allows the user to breathe through two layers of CarbonX knit mesh at the mouth/nose area overlap. The UNI-V2 Ultra Shroud is compatible with nearly every wildland helmet made in the world and we package it with a complete set of fasteners to accomplish this.
Q: ARE THE HOT SHIELDS COMPATIBLE WITH GOGGLES?
A: Low profile goggles with some type of foam work best. We personally like the “Wildcat” goggle because of its low profile with a foam lining. Remember, nearly every goggle wants to occupy the little bit of “real estate” spanning the bridge of your nose up to your forehead. Any type of face mask will need to share this area and “anchor” itself to the bridge of your nose. We did invent a novel replacement goggle strap that helps out with this. Our Blazer QuikConnect Goggle Strap replaces your existing continuous elastic band goggle strap with one that has a Fas-Tek buckle (like the buckle on any backpack), so that you can put your goggles on without removing your helmet or mask. You can keep your goggles in a separate pouch or in your Web Case (we make it!) so that they stay clean and are ready for use at a moments notice. Several manufacturers have copied our design and we are pleased by the compliment!
Q: WHAT KIND OF MAINTENANCE OR ANY SPECIAL CLEANING PROTOCOLS IS REQUIRED?
A: Hand, machine or dry cleaning. Fasten any Velcro before machine washing to prevent ripping and tearing of the fabric mesh. Remove any filters and re-install after completely dry.
Q: WHAT LENGTH OF SERVICE CAN I EXPECT TO SEE?
A: With normal firefighter abuse/use, you should not find replacement issues for at least 5-10 years. There is not much to break or tear. We warranty all of our products for one full year. Most of what we see in repairs/returns is simply caused by people not removing the filter before washing, abusing the mask by storing hard tools (pliers, etc) in the same pocket as the mask; which is why we invented the Web Case; to keep your mask clean and easy to access).
Once the user has seen at least one product this snippet will be visible.