Fire departments often overlook a crucial aspect: the quality of breathing air for their first responders.
According to a blog article published by BAUER Compressors Inc, it is essential for these heroes to have access to clean, dry, and safely stored air, especially given the increasing levels of pollutants in our atmosphere.
The American Lungs Association states there’s a 40% chance that the air we breathe might be unhealthy.
This polluted air carries aerosol particles, including potentially dangerous soot, smoke, and other pollutants.
New research from Harvard University has revealed that air pollution from fossil fuels contributes to about 1 in 5 deaths globally.
While the importance of clean air for first responders is evident, ensuring the safety of compressed breathing air isn’t straightforward.
Without set industry standards, there’s a risk of creating harmful compressed air.
Committees from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) are currently revising the NFPA 1989 standards.
Bill Dickson, Vice President of Breathing Air Sales for BAUER Compressors, said: “These guidelines define how to test the air, the frequency of when to test, and quality standards…to impart on the fire department.”
The guidelines detail procedures like obtaining breathing air samples before and after changing purification filters, testing for carbon monoxide concentration, ensuring permissible water content, and more.
The new edition will also set standards for high-pressure breathing air compressors and related equipment.
Though NFPA standards aren’t legally binding, following them is vital for risk management.
Dickson added: “It’s about ensuring the health and safety of the person at the other end of the nozzle.”
Fire departments need to be cautious while purchasing equipment. While cost-effective options are tempting, they might not always meet NFPA standards or offer post-sale quality service.
BAUER Compressors has developed tools like the RFIDPro™, an SCBA cylinder management system.
This device scans SCBA cylinders, checking their safety status and testing schedules.
Additionally, BAUER’s Gas-Tek™ monitors breathing air quality in real-time, raising alarms for unsafe carbon monoxide levels.
Further enhancing safety, BAUER’s B-VIRUS FREE™ filtration system can inactivate up to 99.9% of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the air intake of breathing air compressors.
This system utilizes UVC light to destroy pathogens, offering firefighters an extra layer of protection.
Breathing clean, pollutant-free air is a fundamental right, especially for our first responders who brave dangerous situations daily.
BAUER Compressors Inc.’s insights shed light on the situation, tools available for monitoring and ensuring air quality, and the pivotal role the National Fire Protection Association plays in setting guidelines.
For fire departments, staying updated on these standards and incorporating the best tools can make a difference in ensuring the safety and well-being of their personnel.