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No other product in the Australian fire industry has created more hype and curiosity recently than the Eska Barri-Aire Face Mask.
The Barri-Aire Mask has been in development for some time now and up to this point, Eska has remained tight-lipped on releasing detailed information or product specs.
But that all changed last month when Eska unveiled the first 2 prototypes at the AFAC Conference in Melbourne. This week Eska made another exciting announcement which indicates that they might be closer than ever to releasing the mask to the market.
To bring you up to speed here’s everything we know so far about the Barri-Aire Mask.
What’s the Barri-Aire Mask?
First up, in case you’ve been living under a rock, or you’ve got no clue about what we’re talking about, the Barri-Aire Mask is a personal, reusable and machine washable face mask that provides respiratory, particulate and heat protection in 1 neat little package.
The mask is being brought to market by Eska, one of Australia’s largest suppliers of firefighting PPE, and it is being developed by American based company PGI, the same company who produces particulate barrier flash hoods used by a number of fire services here in Aus.
What makes the Barri-Aire Mask such an exciting product is that it combines several important pieces of firefighting PPE into 1 convenient product.
Why the Barri-Aire is not just another face mask
What sets the Barri-Aire Mask apart from anything currently available in Australia is that it combines 3 pieces of PPE commonly used by firefighters, into 1 single piece of equipment.
Arguably the most exciting aspect of the Barri-Aire is that it has been certified under Australian standards to provide P2 particulate respiratory protection, without the need to insert or use a separate P2 dust mask.
This is unlike other similar, well known and widely used face masks such as the popular Hot Shield, and means that the Barri-Aire can be used as a standalone respirator where P2 level protection is required.
Throw in the fact that the Barri-Aire can shield exposed skin from heat, is machine washable (great for keeping it clean and contaminate free) and is made from PGI’s Barri-Aire particulate barrier fabric which has been proven to reduce skin contamination by carcinogenic particulates found at fires and you can start to see why firefighters are hanging out to get their hands on one.
Eska’s latest announcement
Suggesting the Barrie-Aire Mask might not be far from a launch date, Eska this week released the first details on pricing for both the extended bib and non bib versions of the mask on its Facebook page.
When the mask finally gets released for sale Eska announced that its longer ‘bib’ version will retail for $105 plus GST, while the short non bib version will retail for $86 plus GST.
What else do we know about the Barri-Aire Mask?
There’s still a tonne of questions out there firefighters are asking about the mask. We’ll be keeping a close eye on future announcements coming from Eska and bring them to you as we find out but here is what we already know so far:
Release date: Eska has confirmed on Facebook that they intend to have the mask available to purchase before the 2019/2020 Australian bushfire season.
Sizing: According to Eska 1 size fits all, although they have indicated that they might be able to assist with small alterations, such as adding additional velcro, if required.
Colours: Eska says that it intends to release the mask in the black colour on display at AFAC and although there are pictures of the mask in a tan colour on their website they have not yet confirmed whether it will be available in other colours.
Where can I buy it? Eska says that the mask will be available to purchase directly through their website, as well as selected distributors, however, they have not yet confirmed which distributors.
Available outside Australia?: Eska has confirmed the mask will also be available to purchase in New Zealand.
Firefighting’s my passion and I’ve been doing it for over 16 years now since I left school. I also get a kick out of helping other fireys by sharing what I’ve learnt, and what I learn from others, by creating great content.