Emergency fire suit and shelter

Used as a last resort for safety, an aluminum laminate shelter can shield a firefighter from 95% of the radiant heat. It melts at 500 degrees. Here’s how a firefighter uses a shelter:

Firefighting suit

Here's a look at a typical suit worn by firefighters:

Emergency shelter: Deploying

A shelter, which weighs 3 to 4 pounds and is made of aluminum foil laminate, can shield a firefighter from 95% of the radiant heat from a fire. It melts at 500 degrees. To deploy, a firefighter clears an area, tosses away firefighting tools and opens the shelter.

Getting positioned

After opening the shelter, the firefighter gets inside, placing each hand and foot in a corner, with the feet closer to the fire.

Waiting to emerge

The firefighter then rolls over and waits for the signal to emerge. The shelter is intended to be used in a blaze that blows quickly over the firefighter and moves on.

Sources: Mary Grilliot, Morning Pride Manufacturing Inc., Total Fire Group, Santa Clara Fire Department. Original publication date: Oct. 26, 2007