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  1. #1
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    Default Nomex Vs Carbon Fiber Hoods

    The sales literature seems to indicate carbon fiber hoods provide better protection then nomex. I did a google search, but couldn't find very much to support that premise or for that matter very much data at all on the subject.
    Has anyone done any further investigation and is your department switching from nomex to carbon fiber?

    Thanks,
    Tom


  2. #2
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    My department issues carbon fiber hoods and I will never wear anything else. The thing is amazing. If I were to move to another department I would buy my own.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
    ------------------------------------

  3. #3
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    We are currently switching from nomex to the carbon fiber hoods as the nomex are lost or damaged by Firefighters. The reason being is that after a demo at FDIC last year on carbon fiber vs nomex I strongly reccommended the carbon fiber hoods. In the demo a sales rep took a small torch to the nomex and it melted and then did it to the carbon fiber and nothing happened. He put his had in the carbon hood and held the orch to it and didn't get burnt and I suggested him using the nomex hood and doing the came flame test and he said NO WAY! I was sold on the carbon fiber hoods after the nomex caught fire.

  4. #4
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    You are all correct about the heat resistance and sheading properties of the Carbon hoods. But, think about this. We are better protected than ever before. We get deeper into fires than ever before. Guys are getting hurt and killed since they cannot feel the heat getting worse because of this. Now, add your carbon hood and you have lost one more sense to feel the heat. Yes, the carbon hood is great against heat. But, if you cannot feel the sudden changes in temperature indicating something about to go wrong, we will be posting our condolences on here for your family and your department. Think long and hard before you continue to encapsulate yourself further. There is no doubt the fabric is much better and stopping heat. But, shouldn't you need to know when it is too hot? If you wear these hoods, the only way to feel heat if you are properly gear up will be directly through your facepiece. This will only happen if you are looking the the direction of the heat source.


    Stay safe, and make an informed decision. You are the safety officer for your personal safety.
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    IAFF Local 2388
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    You are all correct about the heat resistance and sheading properties of the Carbon hoods. But, think about this. We are better protected than ever before. We get deeper into fires than ever before. Guys are getting hurt and killed since they cannot feel the heat getting worse because of this. Now, add your carbon hood and you have lost one more sense to feel the heat. Yes, the carbon hood is great against heat. But, if you cannot feel the sudden changes in temperature indicating something about to go wrong, we will be posting our condolences on here for your family and your department. Think long and hard before you continue to encapsulate yourself further. There is no doubt the fabric is much better and stopping heat. But, shouldn't you need to know when it is too hot? If you wear these hoods, the only way to feel heat if you are properly gear up will be directly through your facepiece. This will only happen if you are looking the the direction of the heat source.
    I certainly agree with your thoughts on this, but I think the hoods of any type have already forced us to use other areas or methods to "feel the heat". I can feel heat more through the tightening of my gear at the shoulder area than I do through my hood. Basically I with the hood on, you can get to the point that when the layers of PPE are tight at the shoulder, there is pain while never noticing any appreciable heat on the head.

    I'd be interested to here from any Brothers in Houston or surrounding areas wearing the Reed hoods on how they gauge the heat. This leads me to believe using the area on my head as any indicator will not be any further compromised by the type of hood. Of course the more encapsulated we become the better we need to protect ourselves from the heat, it is a vicious cycle that ends with painful injuries or worse!
    Last edited by RFDACM02; 04-04-2009 at 11:02 AM.

  6. #6
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    I bought carbon fiber hoods when we made our last purchase. I will not go back to a nomex hood they are so much more comfortable.
    About going too deep in a fire because we are better protecting ourselves....that's a training problem. Educate yourself and your crew on the indicators you should be looking for, learn to read the fire and watch the overhead, use your TIC if you have one (not every dept can afford one), stay in contact with our exterior teams and know your enemy better than it know's itself.

  7. #7
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    How many people really care about what their hood is made of. I would rather go in with no hood than spend 30 seconds thinking about the chemistry of my hood makeup. It's a nice little peice of extraneous gear, but hardly needed to do your job. As the argument goes, it may even be a detrimental to your safety. People always say look at the smoke, watch the fire for changing conditions, is the smoke black or brown or purple. 90% of the time you can't see s#it and the best indicator of changing conditions is the HEAT. Hoods are fine, for what they are worth, but they should not be depended upon to keep you from feeling anything. That takes away the number one sensory indicator of fire conditions. Protection, protection, protection... I'd rather have burnt ears than feel nothing until the room flashes...
    Last edited by Whocares; 04-04-2009 at 06:28 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whocares View Post
    I'd rather have burnt ears than feel nothing until the room flashes...
    I don't know that this is the best way to deal with potential flashover. I hear you, I'm a 20+ year guy and can remember those days... but I can't help but think I want my ears on my head and to figure out a way to get out before it flashes.

    Ever see a burn unit? Aint pretty.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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  9. #9
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    Default References

    For those who have made the switch to carbon fiber do you have any references to material/articles etc that you used to make the case for the switch? I'm on our department's equipment committee and while it sounds like a more forward I'd going to have to give more of a reason that I think it's a good idea.

    Regards,
    Tom

  10. #10
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    Any info on who is selling them or where I can get my hands on one? Being on an active burn team I'll glady buy one and put it to the test.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    You are all correct about the heat resistance and sheading properties of the Carbon hoods. But, think about this. We are better protected than ever before. We get deeper into fires than ever before. Guys are getting hurt and killed since they cannot feel the heat getting worse because of this. Now, add your carbon hood and you have lost one more sense to feel the heat. Yes, the carbon hood is great against heat. But, if you cannot feel the sudden changes in temperature indicating something about to go wrong, we will be posting our condolences on here for your family and your department. Think long and hard before you continue to encapsulate yourself further. There is no doubt the fabric is much better and stopping heat. But, shouldn't you need to know when it is too hot? If you wear these hoods, the only way to feel heat if you are properly gear up will be directly through your facepiece. This will only happen if you are looking the the direction of the heat source.


    Stay safe, and make an informed decision. You are the safety officer for your personal safety.
    Cut a 3" diameter hole in one side of a Carbon hood. Left or right. Then you'll only be nursing one ear in the burn unit.

  12. #12
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    This is ridiculous. If you put a 700 degree flame on to anything that is next to your skin you will get burned. Don't waste your money on something cause it wont burn. Spend the money on a fitness book, follow it and dont be a fat *****.

  13. #13
    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Even with my carbon fiber hood i feel a good amount of heat. Nothing like a Nomex but I think that I can definatly feel changes in a room's temperature.
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    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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    I don't see why we even need all this protection. After talking to some other firefighters, some sound like they don't expect/can tolerate feeling any heat while fighting a fire.

    Nomex seems to provide an adequate amount of protection while still letting us feel some heat. How much heat do we need to protect ourselves from? try opening the building up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    I don't see why we even need all this protection.
    if only your parents were as concerned with protection.

    Jason Knecht
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    Altoona Fire Dept.
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  16. #16
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    I agree with jbrescue... to an extent anyways.

    I think nomex is just as good. Sure, anything with direct flame contact will burn eventually. I also want to be protected but I want to feel some heat too. I would want to feel the heat through nomex, know to either do something quick about the fire or get out quick.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

  17. #17
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    Does anyone else use 2 nomex hoods? Little trick I learned from some guys on the team. I have doubled up even on my dept turnouts.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamelfire View Post
    Does anyone else use 2 nomex hoods? Little trick I learned from some guys on the team. I have doubled up even on my dept turnouts.
    I've heard of two hoods... what do you mean you double up on turnouts?

    Pants and coats?

    No way.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

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  19. #19
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    How about propering performed timely ventilation.
    Just another one of the 99%ers looking up.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hamelfire View Post
    Does anyone else use 2 nomex hoods? Little trick I learned from some guys on the team. I have doubled up even on my dept turnouts.
    Why do you do this?

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