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Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) Evaluation in Support of the Fire Service

Graphic for Standard Test Procedures

Standard Test Procedures

In a typical evaluation, the following approval tests are conducted:

  • Positive Pressure Test [§ 84.70(a)(2)(ii)], STP-0120
  • Rated Service Time (duration) [§ 84.95], STP-0121
  • Gas Flow Test [§ 84.93], STP-0123
  • Exhalation Breathing Resistance Test [§ 84.91(c)], STP-0122
  • Static Facepiece Pressure Test [§ 84.91(d)], STP-0122
  • Remaining Service Life Indicator Test (alarm) [§ 84.83(f)], STP-0124
  • An Airflow Performance Test, in accordance with NFPA 1981, is also conducted.

This set of tests generally provides an indication of the SCBA’s overall performance. The condition of the SCBA or special circumstances surrounding the incident may warrant the addition or omission of certain performance tests. For example, a special inward leakage test can be performed if there is reason to believe that there is ambient air infiltration into the SCBA facepiece. Performance test failures will be noted, but the SCBA will not be disassembled in an attempt to determine the cause of any test failure. A report of findings is provided to the requestor in a detailed report.

Once the NIOSH evaluation is complete the SCBA will be securely stored until further instruction from the requestor or a designated authority is received. NIOSH will maintain all chain of custody documentation per the requestor’s requirements, if applicable.

Please note that the results of testing are part of the public record and cannot be kept confidential.

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