Hot Filling Hazards with SCBA Air Cylinders

December 2020
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2021-111
Cover page for Publication No. 2021-111

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program (FFFIPP) monitors issues related to self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA). The NIOSH FFFIPP has identified a potential hazard associated with rapid filling of compressed breathing air cylinders and the associated latent pressure/breathing time loss. Rapidly filling a breathing air cylinder, also known as “hot filling,” generates excessive heat and can result in a loss of pressure as the cylinder cools leaving the user with reduced breathing air. Fire departments should ensure that cylinders are stored fully charged to maximize use and capacity.

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Suggested Citation

NIOSH [2020]. Hot Filling Hazards with SCBA Air Cylinders. By Miles, S., Bowyer, M., and Funke, J., Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2021-111, https://doi.org/10.26616/NIOSHPUB2021111external icon

Page last reviewed: December 29, 2020