by Heather Green
Over four months ago, there was a serious fire in my apartment building. Despite the efforts of the Calgary Fire Department, eight people had to receive medical attention for smoke inhalation injuries. I avoided potentially serious injury by wearing a respirator. These respirators are NIOSH-approved for solvent vapours, acid gases, paint spray, pesticides, and particulates (fine dust). They are NOT intended for fire gases and smoke, however, but they do help!
If occupants are told to stay in offices or suites, there is no assurance the spaces will stay free of smoke or gas. It could take several hours to ensure the fire is extinguished and all the passageways and stairwells are cleared of smoke. This
is despite the best efforts of the Fire Department.