Statistics indicate that around 85% of deaths from fire-related incidents are due to being overcome by gas or smoke. This is a devastating problem for which AirForLife has created a life-saving solution contained in an award-winning and innovative aerosol can.
AirForLife is an emergency escape device, providing people with a self-contained source of breathable air to survive and escape from emergencies where breathing may be impaired, such as domestic or high-rise fires and terrorist attacks.
The idea for AirForLife was first conceived by Joe Barratt and Mathew Sygrove who both worked together as firefighters.
‘Statistically, more than 85% of people who die in house fires die of smoke inhalation. Being in the fire service, we had seen the devastating effects of fires. We’d rescued many people, but some of them had unfortunately passed away before we could get to them,’ Matt tells us.
‘Smoke hoods do exist, but if oxygen levels drop below 15%, filters (including filters found in smoke hoods) are not sufficient to keep a person alive. An external source of oxygen is the only way to survive such situations.’
Joe and Matt wanted to create an affordable product that could be kept in people’s homes, hotel rooms and offices in case of emergency.
‘We worked with Dr Tony Ryan, a science professional with expertise in gas adsorption. The end product is a simple design capable of rapid deployment; when the button at the top is pressed, a flow of cooled oxygen is released to the mask, which is supplemented by air purified by the smoke and chemical filters. ‘It’s not for nothing a professional firefighter uses breathing apparatus rather than a respirator or smoke hood!’ Joe adds.
AirForLife uses activated carbon which is made up of very fine pores that give rise to a large surface area. For example, one teaspoonful can purify an area equivalent to the size of an international football pitch.
Since its launch in 2019 AirForLife has quickly been recognised as an award-winning emergency device. Firstly, AirForLife won ‘Best PPE Accessory’ at the Professional Clothing Awards. Secondly, in October of 2019, AirForLife picked up ‘Aerosol of the Year’ at the British Aerosol Manufacturers Association (BAMA) Awards. Although the product and the brand that goes along with it are relatively new, it is a terrific achievement to pick up such prestigious awards.
How does the product work?
AirForLife contains a granular, activated carbon adsorbent. The activated carbon is specially designed to store a much larger volume of oxygen than could be otherwise stored using compression alone and, because of this technology, the canister will still feel full even once it has been discharged. Users then release the oxygen as and when they need to breathe, to waste as little oxygen as possible.
Why is this product so important?
Dr Tony Ryan goes on to explain the importance of ‘oxygen, not air’ in a fire situation: ‘Oxygen is the most important of all human needs. In a fire, oxygen levels rapidly deplete. Air is all around us; something we take for granted. It is only when it is some way removed, or compromised, that we realise its life-preserving preciousness.
‘An external source of oxygen is the only way to survive such situations. Additionally, someone who inhales pure oxygen will be more easily resuscitated if they have been exposed to smoke since their tissues are heavily saturated with oxygen.’
There is clearly a need for such a product like AirForLife. With its effective aerosol packaging, ever-increasing response times become a significantly reduced issue. For example, in rural areas, the average response time is 10 minutes 37 seconds.
Who is the product aimed at?
This product is suitable for any individual who is concerned about their health and safety. At the same time, you may be in a business, looking to protect the health of your employees. AirForLife is also an innovative solution that allows a company to protect its employees. You may be an organisation that is currently based in high-rise offices. It’s no secret that height is an essential factor in fire safety.
For more information, go to www.airforlife.org.uk