Emergency escape breathing device – EEBD – and self-rescuer – SCSRs – are used in case of emergency evacuation from unbreathable, poorly oxygenated or extremely toxic areas. They can be used only in this specific situations (emergency evacuation) and not for on-site interventions or rescue operations.
EMERGENCY ESCAPE BREATHING DEVICE - EEBD
Emergency escape breathing devices are easy and fast to use. They provide breathable air for a determined time to quickly evacuate a infected or unbreathable – oxygen deficient – areas. Contrary to self-rescuer masks, an EEBD is not for single-use.
An emergency escape breathing device is a “slim version” of a self-contained breathing apparatus compacted into a carrying bag. Opening the EEBD bag automatically releases air from a compressed air cylinder (pin system). The user just needs to wear the emergency mask or hood and breath normally while evacuating a danger zone. In order to get a new up and running EEBD, you just need to refill the compressed air cylinder!
An SCSR – also known as self-contained self-rescue device - is a respiratory protective equipment especially designed for emergency evacuation from unbreathable, poorly oxygenated, highly smoky and extremely toxic environments. It is used when an air purifying respirator would be ineffective or even dangerous. There are mainly two major self-rescuer categories:
Chemical oxygen self-rescuer :
Chemical oxygen self-rescuers use a KO2 cartridge (potassium superoxide) that chemically reacts with expired air to produce oxygen. Humidity associated to carbon dioxide emitted while breathing produce a chemical reaction of the KO2 while the carbonic gas is fixed. This chemical reaction releases oxygen into the breathing bag.
Compressed oxygen self-rescuer
Compressed oxygen self-rescuers use a different process. Expired air is stored into a breathing bag. A compressed oxygen cylinder will re-oxygenate depleted air to make it breathable again. A lithium hydroxide bed will filter CO2 included in expired air to make it clean and breathable.
CONFINED SPACE ENTRY
The majority of accidents – oftentimes severe or lethal – that occur in confined spaces are linked to an oxygen deficient atmosphere, a presence of toxic gas or vapor, an explosion or a fire. Thus they are the first risks to monitor during the working process.
Before any confined space entry, it is recommended to forecast risks and to have the required protection equipment. In addition to standard PPEs (helmet, gloves, safety footwear, boots…) it is recommended to use a 4 gas detector (combustible gases, oxygen deficiency, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide) and to have an emergency escape breathing device EEBD or a self-rescuer for emergency escape…
Video introducing an emergency escape breathing device – EEBD