What is a self-contained breathing apparatus?
A self-contained breathing apparatus – also known as SCBA – is a respiratory protective device used in non-breathable areas (with low oxygen or in presence of toxic or asphyxiating gas). It operates just like scuba diving equipment. SCBAs are well suited for many applications (industry, confined space entry, rescue operation…).
Like supplied air respirators, SCBAs are high level respiratory protective equipment compliant with the EN137 standard related to compressed air self-contained devices. They are mainly used in hostile work environments or for emergency and rescue interventions.
A self-contained breathing apparatus is made of three essential units:
This is a major part of the device. It maintains the compressed air cylinder and features a two-stage pneumatic system, a flow regulator and a gauge with an end-of-service alarm whistle.
A full face mask:
There are many types of gas masks such as harness masks, with head nets, with or without F1 mounting (direct mounting on firefighter’s helmet)… The face piece – usually a harness full face mask – will be chosen depending on the field of application and the potential hazard.
A compressed air cylinder:
Available in different capacities (from 6 to 9 liters) and pressure (200 or 300 bars), compressed air cylinders will be selected according to the necessary duration of use. They are made of steel or carbon fibers – lighter but more expensive.
Each person who has to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus for professional purpose has to receive proper SCBA training. Many countries around the world have standards and regulations to ensure respirator training and safety at work.
For selected territories we offer SCBA training on your site or in our facility in France (Paris area) with theory and practical modules. Our instructors are experienced firefighters and experts on using self-contained breathing apparatus.
⇒ Learn more about our SCBA training course