Smoke Escape Masks – REVIEW your best option, the “Xcaper” Smoke Mask

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Building in full flame.

Building in fully involved.  You would be surprised how fast this can happen!  Fires spread geometrically, rapidly.

You and your special needs child and household should NOT be without the means to protect yourself in a fire emergency with smoke escape masks for each family member.  I feel very strongly about this because your lungs are at risk in any emergency that has contaminated the air.  A kitchen fire can rapidly get out of control but a local community emergency, like a truck accident carrying chlorine can also rapidly incapacitate you and your family if that chlorine cloud gets to you.

So why write this review?  My primary focus is to help you establish the means and methods so you can get your ‘special’ person and yourself to safety.  How you will stay in control of the chaos an emergency creates is to develop your emergency plan and be able to implement the elements of that plan…to make it a go.  This is SO important!  I don’t want to seem preachy or pushy so finding the words for this post has been a bit frustrating for me.  How can I say it without frightening you?  Without seeming like I’m being pushy?

What IF?  After the fact ‘what ifs’ …not good.

Look, the bottom line is I really believe you just have to have an escape mask in your emergency kit.  It is not that costly and the one I am reviewing here comes with many advantages (see list below).  Preventing smoke inhalation is critically important in a fire emergency!  That’s why the fire industry says get out of your home and don’t go back in.  But the ‘what ifs’ for a disabled family member creates many difficult decisions.  What if they are in a wheelchair, what if they are on oxygen, what if they are non-verbal, can’t hear, are easily confused, easily overwhelmed, over-stimulated?  What if???

If …

  • your path to your loved one is filled with smoke,
  • you think it is important to ensure you can escape in the two-minute escape window
  • you want to stay in control and not be given to panic

…then there is no question about what you should do.  Please choose to be proactive and have on hand an emergency escape mask; that choice makes you a smart cookie!

REVIEW:  Smoke & Other Air Contaminants Escape Masks

Here is my review of the mask I am strongly recommending.  This escape mask should be in your home’s emergency kit.  It can afford you critical minutes to get you and your loved ones out of harm’s way.

PRODUCT:  Xcaper Emergency Mask
Overall Rating: 4.9
Price: $43.95

Promo Code:  SNAP

The Xcaper Industries site headliner! Check this out...the mask uses 'aloe vera'!

The Xcaper Industries site headliner! Check this out…the mask uses ‘aloe vera’!

It may be intriguing to you that the technology behind this remarkable escape mask is based on a natural aloe vera gel extract. I think it’s pretty darn cool that the mask’s filtering capacity is based on this plant that has many health benefits.  I’m sure you have heard of using aloe vera for a burn while cooking and it works wonders when you have a bad sunburn.  It’s also known to have a wonderful effect on the digestive system which is why so many folks drink aloe vera to help maintain a healthy, well-balanced gut.

This amazing plant does so much! Now a gel made from it is helping provide for safety in fires too!

This amazing plant does so much! Now a gel made from it is helping provide for safety in fires too!

“Aloe Vera is a stimulant to the immune system, a powerful anti- inflammatory, an analgesic and is able to speed up cell growth. Aloe Vera contains a large number of mucopolysaccharides (basic sugars) which are found in every cell in the body. Aloe also contains large numbers of nutrients including vitamins E, C, B1, 2, 3, and 6 as well as iron, manganese, calcium and zinc. Seven essential amino acids and fatty acids are also found in Aloe Vera.” (excerpted from The Aloe Vera Information Center, see pdf in our library)

No kidding, this is cool (pun intended ‘cause aloe vera will cool a burn)!

Now let’s look at some details.

Who IS This Escape Mask For?

Your emergency plan will determine who MUST have the mask. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Will you the parent be the one who has to keep your composure, translate not panic, and make your way from your bedroom to the child’s bedroom?
  • If your path is blocked by fire, not just smoke, do you have an alternate route out of the home AND how do you now get to your child?
  • Can you child be trained to use the emergency mask?
  • Who in the home may be an alternate person to get to your disabled child?  Is it an older responsible teen who you can train and trust to be a part of the emergency evacuation plan?
  • Where is your alternate and where are you in relation to the special needs person?
  • Does everyone have an alternate exit route from the home?

My Call?  My decision?  What will you decide?

Getting out just got easier and safer for this family. Look at the smoke behind them. In their lungs they would have been injured.

Getting out just got easier and safer for this family.   The smoke behind them says it all.


At the very least this emergency escape mask is for each member who has a role in your evacuation plan.  However, you may want to consider providing a mask to every member of the household.  I mean, why not! You want to maximize everyone’s ability to safely get out, right?  That could mean, for instance, that you have two children in one bedroom, so two masks are staged there.  Oh, and it does no good to just make it available if  your family doesn’t know how to use it.  So as part of your plan, you practice getting out and you practice using the mask. (See my instructions for this below.)

 SUPPORT for you

The company Xcaper Industries has a wealth of information on their website that can be used by you and I, the average citizen.  Of course, there is also information for professionals like firefighters and other emergency or first responders, like police officers.  In the language of their site, citizens are listed as ‘civilians’, and so those are the best resources to look over.
And, you can always tap into me.  I am glad to answer any of your questions and to help you get started in establishing this important foundation for your family’s welfare!  Please do leave me a comment at the bottom of this post.

If you have questions or concerns you can also Contact Me Here.

WHY this is important?

Maintaining access to ‘breathable air’ means you can implement your action plan.   We often call the air we breathe oxygen, but air is not, nor could it ever be pure oxygen, that would be dangerous.  So the composition of air includes 10 gases.  Here they are: Nitrogen, Oxygen, Argon, Carbon dioxide, Neon, Helium, Methane, Krypton, Hydrogen and Xenon.

A bit of the technical info behind the WHY

Smoke Escape Masks

Note the smoke billowing out of this building!  If someone is inside they will be in serious trouble.

Who would have thought right?  The gas that has the highest concentration in the air we breath isn’t oxygen (O2), its nitrogen at 78% and then oxygen is about 28.9%, the rest of the gases in much smaller concentrations.  The reason this is important is that contaminants that are released from things like burning plastics can displace and/or consume oxygen.  It can also displace the other components of air or add to the concentrations, say for carbon dioxide. One very serious contaminant is carbon monoxide, a by-product of combustion.  It mixes right in with O2 but the blood will pick up the CO before O2 and that is a disaster waiting to happen.

The contaminants in the air are why you absolutely have to get to your child and the both of you get out, quickly get out!  An escape mask gives you a margin of safety to grab them and go.

It is not okay to think the mask is making it safe to do anything other than grab and go!

The air you are breathing could be severely overloaded with toxins or heaven forbid oxygen deficient.  As long as there is a fire though, there is oxygen so don’t fret about this, just get out!

ADVANTAGES of the Xcaper Emergency Mask

Xcaper Smoke Masks

A wildland firefighter using the Xcaper professional mask.

  1. One size fits all
  2. Moist texture of mask conforms to face providing excellent shield against contaminants
  3. Does not heat up as do other kinds of respiratory protection devices
  4. Captures many contaminants, even radioactive particles are filtered
  5. Protection for wildland fire smoke evacuation
  6. Filtering media lasts up to five hours, could be critically important in wildland fire evacuation
  7. Rigorous testing in the field and the lab ensures confident and safe protection
  8. Five-year ‘shelf-life’
  9. Compact enough to fit in a purse, briefcase, or backpack
  10. Very easy to use so minimal training is required
  11. Accepted and used by many industry leaders such as Shell, AIG, GM, and Holland America Cruise Line
  12. Professional firefighters doing wildland fires, arson investigation, and ‘mop up’ or what a firefighter calls ‘overhaul’ are also using this innovative new technology

 Disadvantages are so few that it doesn’t even merit putting them into a list. 

Here is what I have determined is the only disadvantage and I don’t consider it enough of a negative to prevent me from using this product.  After all, as indicated in the advantages above there are many companies and yes professional firefighting agencies who are using this technology in their arsenal of protective devices.  The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has not given it a stamp of approval.  But corporate organizations consider it a risk issue, that to not give them masks poses a greater liability to not give them anything at all.  So how can we in our families think anything less.  The lab tests done with these masks and the field experience speaks for itself.   We are talking emergencies for our families, so the NIOSH approval is not an issue for us.

Now that could seem like a big deal to you.  Let’s just remember with so many fire departments, EMTs, and policeman already using this mask in the field of course, it clearly works.  Approvals from governmental agencies are slow in coming for many, many reasons.  OSHA, for instance, is way behind the American Conference of Industrial Hygienists in establishing safe limits of air contaminants in the workplace.  It is a regulatory nightmare when industries oppose a regulation and by fighting in court significantly stall a standard’s implementation.

What You Need to Know – Consider This

With so many successfully using the Xcaper masks doesn’t it make you wonder what’s up with getting it approved?  They have patented their revolutionary technology.

 How It Works.

How It Works.

They saw a need after September 11, 2001 to protect civilians from the dangers of a terrorist attack developing a kit for evacuation from high rise buildings.  Now over 250,000 Emergency Evacuation Kits are deployed in businesses all over the world.

Their manufacturing facility received ISO certification as far back as 2005: Certificate of Registration of Quality System to I.S. EN ISO 9001:2000.  What the heck does this mean anyway?

Here is a quote from the Houston Chronicle defining what the ISO certification means.

“ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, promotes global standardization for specifications and requirements for materials, products, procedures, formats, information and quality management. Certification under ISO standards is an assurance that the ISO-required management of processes and documentation is in place.”  

That’s good.  It means that the quality needed to manufacture the life-saving Xcaper Emergency Mask will not be compromised.

European CE Marking?  Why is this important?

Xcaper smoke mask

This “mark” certifies the product passes strict European standards.

If you live in Europe and you want this device for your family’s emergency kit,  Xcaper Industries has been working on obtaining the CE mark that establishes they meet or exceed European health, safety, and environmental protection legislation.  Its a process to receive this certification.  We can only hope the European regulators will move this assertively forward, after all, populations across the globe could really use an effective, easy to use escape device.  Xcaper is already in Australia.

Easy Peezy – Get It On and GO

It is not hard to use, in fact, it’s pretty much fail-proof.  Why, you say?  Because as their site says “as long as the mask covers the nose and mouth the mask is going to filter effectively.”  It can be put on upside down, inside out, right side up backwards or forwards, as long as it is covering your nose and mouth it works!  Simple, right?  Amazing!  No doubt about that.

Even in the dark of night or the dark of a smoke-filled room, the pouch has luminescent strips on it to ensure you can find the strips and get it opened.  Good idea!

As long as the package has not been compromised it will work to protect your lungs.  What does this mean?  You should definitely do a monthly check on this equipment to inspect the integrity of the packaging.

Here’s the Scoop

Dry Mask: $7.95  (Use Promo Code:  SNAP  when ordering)
Strongly recommend you purchase this and do a training session with your family.  You can wet the mask under the faucet and give everyone a sense of how it will feel when it comes out of the package for an emergency.  Good idea!

“Xcaper” Mask only: $43.95  (Use Promo Code:  SNAP if this is the option you choose)
The device in it’s protective packaging.  Handy for travel or a good way to augment your emergency kit with enough masks for everyone.  The mask should not be exposed to excessive heat, therefore, it is not a good idea to store it in a car.


The package I am recommending contains these items; mask, pouch, goggles, LED light and whistle.

The package I am recommending contains these items; mask, pouch, goggles, LED light and whistle.

My Xcaper Kit: $59.95  (Use Promo Code:  SNAP when ordering.)

Includes mask in protective packaging, goggles, 6” x 9” storage bag, emergency whistle and LED light.

With all of the items in the storage bag it is only 1″ thick. This is a great package as it provides the light and whistle for your training and is an additional layer of safety in an emergency.  Whistles and lights can draw the attention of the rescuers should our loved one somehow be trapped; so they are a good idea for everyone.

Final Verdict/Rating

I have given this device a very high rating of 4.9.   My experience in this field tells me the negative is negligible.  The testing that has been done removes any doubt and NIOSH in time will have to get on the bandwagon as folks are successfully using this mask in the field.  Pretty much says it all, right there.

  • The Xcaper Emergency Mask is new technology that is being used by many professional firefighters, security staff, and police
  • It has been adopted as an emergency rescue device for high rise buildings by many businesses like AIG and the Marriott hotel in New York
  • Reasonably priced
  • Provides significant protection from smoke inhalation injuries
  • Training to use it is minimal
  • Manufacturing facility meets ISO quality control and standardization in materials, products, and procedures
  • Easy, fail proof & panic proof use!
  • One size fits all

After its all said and done, what will you do?  I hope my strong recommendation is one you will seriously consider.  I am gradually purchasing these for my house as I live on a fixed income.  One a month is my goal until I have each of the kids covered in their bedrooms.  The dry mask is a wonderful idea for training and familiarization.

You can do this!  Peace of mind has no price tag.  

Knowing you can get yourself and then your children, especially your special needs children, out of harm’s way will ensure you prevent a tragedy.  Now that is a worthy investment…a treasure!

Invest in your treasure with and use Promo Code: SNAP


And by all means give me the low down on how this works out for you.

Your Comment Will Benefit Us All

Drop Us a Comment! Or Share Your Story. We Will All Benefit From Your Generosity.

Your story of how this mask made the difference

between a smoke inhalation injury or a safe escape from a fire will help so

many others!



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