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OTEGO’s Fireshield Poncho sets new standards in fire safety

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OTEGO, the global pioneer in coated and laminated technical textiles, has unveiled its latest lifesaving innovation for the global market – the Fireshield Poncho. Designed alongside and expressly for the needs of firefighters, this breakthrough product represents a leap forward in protection against deadly radiant heat during forest fire scenarios.

The Fireshield Poncho, a robust piece of personal protective equipment (PPE), is an ultimate safety recourse for firefighters facing intense, unpredictable fires. Crafted from ultra-lightweight fiberglass coated with aluminised aramid, the poncho incorporates OTEGO’s proprietary Fireshield technology.

Alain Tieu, Heat Protection Market Manager at Otego, elaborates on the impetus behind the development of the poncho: When a firefighter goes into the forest they will usually stay close to their fire truck. But fire is unpredictable, and sometimes firefighters can become separated and surrounded. The firefighters realised they needed an additional piece of PPE (personal protective equipment) of last resort. In environments of high radiant heat, this poncho could help them stay alive until rescue arrives, or give them the protection needed to run to safety should gaps in the wall of flame appear.”

The Fireshield Poncho is engineered to provide firefighters with added protection and precious extra time when confronting the extreme radiant heat that forest fires generate. Grégoire Bernand, Fireguard Product Manager at Otego, adds, “Radiant heat is usually the first kind of heat a firefighter will feel and one of the most dangerous.”

Prior to its global launch, the Fireshield Poncho underwent rigorous laboratory testing. Thermal sensors were deployed on two mannequins attired in standard firefighting gear, with and without the poncho. The tests assessed the poncho’s capacity to protect the wearer from various intensities of radiant heat and flame.

“The temperature rises very quickly in a forest fire situation,” said Alain. “80°C is the threshold for significant injury – that’s the temperature we must not exceed – so we tested the effect of the Fireshield Poncho when modifying the intensity of radiant heat.

“Five kilowatts per square meter gave the unprotected mannequin just 225 seconds before the temperature reached critical levels. With the poncho, we doubled the temperature to 10 kilowatts per meter and monitored the mannequin for more than double the time (500 seconds) yet the temperature within the poncho didn’t exceed 30°C. We increased the radiant heat further, to 30kW, then 50kW. At no point did the temperature reach 70°C.

“When we placed the Fireshield Poncho in bushfire conditions, amid burning vegetation, there was still no damage to the mannequin.”

The Fireshield Poncho, while not designed for extended direct flame exposure, offers robust protection against intense radiant heat and enables mobility – a crucial advantage over other static ‘fire shelter’ approaches. Furthermore, in China, the poncho has been adopted as an affordable alternative to full proximity suits for firefighters engaged in support roles during gasoline or chemical plant fires.

OTEGO’s Fireshield Poncho, initially developed by and for firefighters, continues to be discovered and adopted by firefighting teams worldwide, underlining its versatile, life-saving potential in a broad array of high-risk situations.

For further information about the Fireshield Poncho, please visit


OTEGO is a leader in the manufacture of coated and laminated technical textiles. With an unwavering commitment to innovation and safety, OTEGO continuously strives to create cutting-edge solutions designed to protect individuals working in high-risk environments. For more information, visit

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