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Old 09-08-2019, 11:31 AM
BearShark BearShark is offline
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Default Help with my fire escape kit



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Hey, so I could use some help with fixing up my fire escape kit. My apartment building has had quite a few fire scares from people not being so smart with incense, cooking, etc. Eight months ago the entire first floor was smoked out by my neighbors' cooking accident, so I put together a BOB specifically tailored for if the building burns down.

I'm running into a couple of problems though. One is I'm running out of space and weight and I still need to be able to add some winter gear. I'm not sure I'm actually covering what I need or that I don't have gaps.

So first thing is purpose. It's not an urban survival bag as such. Really it's for having to escape in a fire and not wanting to basically be homeless and have to go out and buy basics stuff like clothing the same day as I'm dealing with work and trying to find a living situation. So the basic idea is to give me enough time and stuff that I can crash in a hotel or a friend's place for a few days to a week and find a new place to live. A few things I have overlap with my EDC in case something breaks. I'd be grabbing pants and a shirt left on top of the bag as well as footwear and a coat/winter gear on my way out so this is not a "run out naked" bag.

Please feel free to rip into this list and challenge why I have certain things or point out anything you think I'm missing within my POU.

So what I have so far:

Non Seasonal
Bag
1 35L, Mil-Tec, Coyote Tan
1 Hip belt, removed and stowed

Clothing
3 Synthetic Underwear
2 Cotton Underwear
3 Medium Weight Socks
1 Buff, OD green
2 Shemagh
1 Slacks, black, faded
1 Watch cap, coyote tan, synthetic
3 T-shirts

Wearables
1 Watch, Casio Pro Trek PRW-3500
1 Sunglasses

Toiletries
1 Toothbrush
1 Toothpaste, small
1 Scissors, folding
1 Comb, horn, small
1 Vaseline, travel size
1 Dental floss, small
1 Wet Ones, 20 pack
1 Castille Soap
1 Toilet Paper, 1 roll, tube removed

Documents
1 Passport (expired)
1 Birth Certificate (+digital)
1 Sin Card (+digital)
1 College Diploma (digital)
1 Highschool Diploma (digital)
1 Security Licence (digital)
1 Resumes (digital)

Keys
1 Apartment
1 Car
1 USB with Google Chrome + Lastpass

Tools
1 Power Bank, 13400 mAh
1 Charging Block
1 USB Cable, Type C
1 USB Cable, Micro USB
1 Contractor Grade Trash Bag
1 Knife, folding, Kershaw Link
1 Lighter, Bic
3 Candles, beeswax, 3 inch
1 Duct Tape, card wrapped
1 Pen, blue
1 Notebook
1 Sewing repair kit, needle, thread

Medical Kit
1 Cutting Shears
1 Medical Scissors
2 Gloves
2 Gauze Sponge, 4”x4”
2 Sterile Pads, 2”x3”
10 Plasters, Large, Band-Aid/Dynarex
3 Plasters, Knuckle, Large, Dynarex
2 Antiseptic Swabs, Iodine 10%
Medical Tape
1 Gauze, 4.5”x4.1 yd
1 Gauze, 3”
2 CPR one-way face shield
1 Triangle Bandage
5 Halls Lozenges, cherry
1 Tums, 750mg, 8pack
9 Ibuprofen, 400mg
24 Acetaminophen, 500mg
1 Ace Bandage

Misc
1 Sleeping Bag Liner (synthetic)
1 Challenge Coin
1 Silver Bracelet
1 Handkerchief
1 Map
1 Whistle

Food/Water
1 Water Bottle, stainless steel
1 Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans, 1lb
2 Cliff Bars
2 Water Bottles, 500ml

Seasonal Clothing
Summer
1 Baseball cap, OD green
1 Light pants
3 Light socks
1 Sunscreen

Spring/Fall
1 Rain jacket
1 Sweater
1 Long Underwear
1 Light pants

Winter
1 Heavy Long underwear
1 Sweater
1 Heavy Pants
3 Heavy socks
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:53 AM
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Most of the apartments I have lived in have only ONE way out. You might want to include a fire extinguisher to clear a path.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:58 AM
BearShark BearShark is offline
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I live on the ground floor and can hop out the window pretty easily
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Old 09-08-2019, 01:50 PM
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Many times you will not have time to grab anything!

If you have a car much/most of that can stay there! Backup ID, digital information on thumb drives ect. should be in a safety deposit box! Throw everything in a zip up bankers style bag so you can grab and go.

If you have a friend’s house you can leave a suitcase at that simplifies things. Define what you want or need! Don’t just ask can you bring some stuff over. Saying you want to store one carryon sized bag in his closet in case your building burns down is an easier sale than can I store some boxes/stuff at your house !

Some businesses have rental storage space available. Not all of it private, but the ability to lock up a contractors box in a nearby shop or warehouse can be fairly inexpensive in some places!

As far as clothes to wear, install a couple/few hooks right beside your bed. The clothes from the day before or the next day with everything in the pockets already belted/geared up get hung up each night ready to go! I do the clothes from the day before! Everything is in place and ready to go. Next morning it all gets transferred to the new clothes and yesterday’s clothes go in the laundry!

Shoes or even slip on boots on the floor under them! I’d stuff socks into one shoe, but would likely not bother with socks until I was outside.

Second hook should be winter coat with hat, gloves, gator stuffed into the pockets. My pants always have a flashlight clipped to one of the pockets, but one in your coats pocket would be appropriate as well! This hook can also have a shotgun hanging under the coat, but that may not fit your needs.

Blow out bag should be very small (daypack sized at best) and hanging from third hook or on ground under coat!

Concentrate on getting out fast rather than taking lots with you! Pants and a coat on while carrying shoes, shirt and bag would be about all you should expect!

SD
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:44 PM
BearShark BearShark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Many times you will not have time to grab anything!
The smoke alarms in my building work well. Having been through this several times I can assure you I will very likely have time.

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
If you have a car much/most of that can stay there!
Unfortunately not. The yearly temperature swings mean things would melt in summer and freeze in winter.

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Backup ID, digital information on thumb drives ect. should be in a safety deposit box!
Need to be able to update it. many times per year.

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Throw everything in a zip up bankers style bag so you can grab and go.
Backpack gives me a backpack to use after, and if the car is blocked off then it's much more ergonomic to haul.

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
If you have a friend’s house you can leave a suitcase at that simplifies things.
Solid idea.

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Some businesses have rental storage space available. Not all of it private, but the ability to lock up a contractors box in a nearby shop or warehouse can be fairly inexpensive in some places!
Unfortunately not the case near me.

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
As far as clothes to wear, install a couple/few hooks right beside your bed. The clothes from the day before or the next day with everything in the pockets already belted/geared up get hung up each night ready to go! I do the clothes from the day before! Everything is in place and ready to go. Next morning it all gets transferred to the new clothes and yesterday’s clothes go in the laundry!
That's actually a really good idea! Thanks! At the moment I have it on a shemagh on the table so I can grab my EDC gear, then the bag, and go, but loaded pants is definitely better.

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Shoes or even slip on boots on the floor under them! I’d stuff socks into one shoe, but would likely not bother with socks until I was outside.
Hmm, also a good idea.

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Second hook should be winter coat with hat, gloves, gator stuffed into the pockets. My pants always have a flashlight clipped to one of the pockets, but one in your coats pocket would be appropriate as well! This hook can also have a shotgun hanging under the coat, but that may not fit your needs.
Good idea as well. Probably not going to put it in the bedroom but having everything prepped in the closet would be good.

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Blow out bag should be very small (daypack sized at best) and hanging from third hook or on ground under coat!

Concentrate on getting out fast rather than taking lots with you! Pants and a coat on while carrying shoes, shirt and bag would be about all you should expect!
I appreciate you suggestions and ideas!
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Old 09-08-2019, 02:58 PM
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charliemeyer007 charliemeyer007 is online now
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Explosions can cause fires and vice versa. Tweezers for splinters or shards. Bottle of saline solution to wash crap out of your eyes/wounds.

Couple of single use super glue tubes.

+1 your car should have all this as the BOB or GHB.
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
Explosions can cause fires and vice versa.
Thankfully for me the chances of that happening to my apartment are slim.

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Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
Tweezers for splinters or shards.
Hmm. Yeah. Maybe I should trade out the second pair of scissors for tweezers.

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Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
Bottle of saline solution to wash crap out of your eyes/wounds.
The water call pull double duty there.

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Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
Couple of single use super glue tubes.
I have tape and pads/sponges. The med kit is more so I have a basic med kit for later with things I might need/want immediately like lozenges or tums.

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Originally Posted by charliemeyer007 View Post
+1 your car should have all this as the BOB or GHB.
One thing at a time. Also my car does have some environmental limits on what I can put in there because of temperature, size, and risk of theft.
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:24 PM
Don H Don H is offline
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You live in an apartment, in a city or town I assume, so your basic needs of food, water and shelter could be easily met with the help of family, friends and neighbors.

What I would be most concerned about is getting out of the apartment quickly. You say you live in the ground floor which is great, but do you have at least two means of egress? Three is better. Are you sure you can actually get out of that window? Have you tried? Maybe you need a step ladder or the window sticks and needs repair.

You say the building has good smoke detectors but I would install at least 1 Smoke/CO detector of my own, battery operated.

I would also have clothes and shoes at my bedside. You'd be surprised how many people bail out of their house at 3am barefoot and in their skivvies.

Also on my nightstand I would have a small bag that would contain a set of keys for the car and house, ID, some money and a headlamp. I'd also grab my cell phone off the nightstand.

In my car I would keep bulkier items such as a heavy coat and other cold weather clothes, boots, rain gear, etc as needed.

(from the perspective of a retired firefighter with 30 years service)
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Old 09-08-2019, 03:34 PM
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I have one for bushfires and start with a set of fireproof overalls, welders gloves, mask, boots and goggles.

So that I can be as safe as I can as near to the fire as I can.

Just in case something unpredictable happens.

Unfortunately that will also pretty much fill a bag so I can't really take much other stuff.
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Old 09-08-2019, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
It's not an urban survival bag as such. Really it's for having to escape in a fire and not wanting to basically be homeless and have to go out and buy basics stuff like clothing the same day as I'm dealing with work and trying to find a living situation.
Right of the bat I'm giving you points for actually defining what your bag is for.

So your bag is just fine for what you need it for. I would also add a few hundred dollars in cash if you don't already keep that in your wallet etc.

But as people as mentioned, getting out may be hard. Once you are out you will have an entire city worth of people to help you with basic needs, but there will likely be nobody to help you get out. You will not die if you don't have your expired passport or diploma....you will die if you can't get your window or door open.

I recommend a haligan or similar tool, a full face gas mask, and two of the most powerful headlamps you an afford. I cannot overemphasis the headlamps enough. That is the single most important thing you can have. The fire will be at night. The power will be out, and there will be smoke. If you can't see what you are doing nothing else matters.

A gas mask will NOT provide air for you, but it may help to keep you from becoming incapacitated by smoky air that still does contain oxygen but has so much other crap in it that breathing it would send your lungs into coughing spasms and cause your eyes to tear up and swell shut.

FYI...firefighter.
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Old 09-08-2019, 05:00 PM
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I would also add a few hundred dollars in cash if you don't already keep that in your wallet etc.
Why do you think that would be beneficial over, say, a credit card?

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Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
But as people as mentioned, getting out may be hard. Once you are out you will have an entire city worth of people to help you with basic needs, but there will likely be nobody to help you get out. You will not die if you don't have your expired passport or diploma....you will die if you can't get your window or door open.
That's fair. But the documents take up little space and weight and it's easier to keep them than replace them, or replace them if I have copies. Most of it is on the USB stick which I'd be carrying anyway.

But I get your point about needing exit more than after-exit support. Good point of prioritization.

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Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
a full face gas mask
...
A gas mask will NOT provide air for you, but it may help to keep you from becoming incapacitated by smoky air that still does contain oxygen but has so much other crap in it that breathing it would send your lungs into coughing spasms and cause your eyes to tear up and swell shut.
Would something like this work with a beard then?
https://firemask.com/products/firema...ren-and-adults

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Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
and two of the most powerful headlamps you can afford. I cannot overemphasis the headlamps enough. That is the single most important thing you can have. The fire will be at night. The power will be out, and there will be smoke. If you can't see what you are doing nothing else matters.
Duly noted. I will improve on the one I have, and mount that as the first thing within easy access, followed by the hood.

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Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
FYI...firefighter.
...
So your bag is just fine for what you need it for.
Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Why do you think that would be beneficial over, say, a credit card?
Its just a prepper thing. Credit cards are great but you never know when they will randomly not work. Its happened to me, and usually at the worst time. Not a mission critical thing for this scenario, just a general recommendation.


Quote:
That's fair. But the documents take up little space and weight and it's easier to keep them than replace them, or replace them if I have copies. Most of it is on the USB stick which I'd be carrying anyway.
Yeah, I'm not telling you to get rid of them by any means, just to keep in mind the difference between nice to have, and have to have or you die kind of stuff. You have to be able to get out of the burning building first before anything else does you much good.

Quote:
Would something like this work with a beard then?
https://firemask.com/products/firema...ren-and-adults
Sure. It looks like it would seal outside the beard zone for most people and cinched tight enough beards are not huge problem anyway. Not ideal, but manageable.

I don't know what your budget is but I would recommend a true mask instead of an escape hood just because it will be better made and more useful for other situations.

Something like this with organic vapor filter cartridges.

https://www.amazon.com/3M-Facepiece-...s%2C392&sr=8-4

And would double for riots, chemical attacks, etc.

Of course the sky's the limit with gas masks but for fire escape you don't have to go all out for most things.

You probably know this already but smoke is THE killer when it comes to fires. Its very hard to burn to death without first suffocating, and while there are many highly advanced treatments for burns on your skin, if you burn your lungs you are pretty much screwed and it only takes one breath of hot air to do this.

There was a great story we went over in the fire academy about a fire fighter who fell through a burning floor into a basement. The basement was used to store chairs and when he fell in the stacks of chairs fell over and blocked the door. Because it was black and full of smoke he couldn't find the door and ended up spending ten minutes circling the room blind. (All this was captured on the radio recording) eventually his low air alarm went off and so he sat down and sufficated due to lack of air from his SCBA. But the important part is that he kept his mask on so even though he suffocated and died, he did not burn his lungs. Just a couple minutes after he stopped breathing the rescue team reached him and drug him out and he was revived. He had a lot of burns but his lungs where intact and he was revived in time and so made a full recovery...but only because he had the self control to 'die' with his mask on instead of ripping it off and trying to breath super heated smoke.

Now, a non air supplied mask won't give you that kind of protection but it will still be very helpful in a fire. You have to protect your lungs at all costs.
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:00 PM
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Yeah, I'm not telling you to get rid of them by any means, just to keep in mind the difference between nice to have, and have to have or you die kind of stuff. You have to be able to get out of the burning building first before anything else does you much good.
I completely understand and appreciate you pointing out the GAPING hole in my prep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
I don't know what your budget is but I would recommend a true mask instead of an escape hood just because it will be better made and more useful for other situations.

Something like this with organic vapor filter cartridges.

https://www.amazon.com/3M-Facepiece-...s%2C392&sr=8-4

And would double for riots, chemical attacks, etc.
Not a huge chance of that where I live so not a necessity there. Certainly for other preps though. Plus for fire I don't want to have to deal with clearing a face mask when I put it on in a room which may be smoke filled, and its easier for others who are untrained. There's also the issue of greater compatibility for those other than myself, and the lower price.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:55 PM
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https://www.amazon.com/Holulo-Respir...ateway&sr=8-23


corrected
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:16 AM
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Thinking you have time because something electric will warn you has caused more than one tragedy! Fire is a strange beast than acts in unexpected ways!

Unless you’re in a very crazy area most temperature swings can be moderated by storing stuff in a good cooler! Yes temperature changes, but much slower and mostly not s much. My car kit doesn’t freeze except on rare occasions even in my mountainous environment.

Banks are open most days and you can access your box as often as you want! Having everything in your box in a zip bag is quick and convenient for use. Stuff it in whatever bag you’re carrying!

Having eggs in several baskets is a solid plan for success and having tools to exit no matter what will increase your chances!

Oh and of course expect your plans to go to crap if there ever is a fire, because that way you won’t be surprised that things worked out different than you planned!

SD
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:39 PM
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My ground-level nighttime fire escape plan is shoes-pants-coat-gloves,
hammer to smash the window glass.

**** the rest~!

Gloves are for dealing with broken glass.
Hammer is on the window sill.
Keys and driver's licence and credit cards are in the pants pockets.

If I can get out with that much and if my car is not in the fire, great~!
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:57 PM
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Do you have renters insurance?
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:28 PM
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Do you have renters insurance?
Coming through next week. I know it's something I should have had sooner.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:33 PM
BearShark BearShark is offline
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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Unless you’re in a very crazy area most temperature swings can be moderated by storing stuff in a good cooler! Yes temperature changes, but much slower and mostly not s much. My car kit doesn’t freeze except on rare occasions even in my mountainous environment.
Unfortunately I was leasing a tiny car while I was finishing school because of lower gas costs. No space for that. Although keeping a second USB in there and things which aren't susceptible to temperature swings is certainly a good idea.

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Banks are open most days and you can access your box as often as you want! Having everything in your box in a zip bag is quick and convenient for use. Stuff it in whatever bag you’re carrying!
Yeah after further investigation it is relatively inexpensive. Now if only I didn't need a second bank because mine has terrible hours

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Originally Posted by SheepDog68 View Post
Oh and of course expect your plans to go to crap if there ever is a fire, because that way you won’t be surprised that things worked out different than you planned!
That's what training and backup plans are for, and why I've come to the people of this fine forum to kick the tar out of my ideas
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BearShark View Post

Would something like this work with a beard then?
https://firemask.com/products/firema...ren-and-adults
....
That woiuld work great unless you were in an actual structural fire.

Do you know what to do in the event you are home when a fire occurs (I have not seen in the discussion)? If so the next step beyond your bail out bag would be to escape. As above a tool and a high intensity LED light would be next step.

I recommend a Streamlight Lantern https://www.feldfire.com/VULCAN-180-...N_p_12059.html
OR: Streamlight Survivior https://www.feldfire.com/Survivor-LE...ge_p_2052.html
Or consider a hardhat (with chinstrap) and a helmet mount light as: https://www.streamlight.com/products...0-x-flashlight
(can't beat Streamlight)

Next level would be a air supply. Recommend Scott ELSA escape device https://www.3mscott.com/products/els...pe-respirator/

5min lists for $530 You an find new for around $420. In a structural fire you need air supply. A filter does diddly to solve the problems that will kill you.
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