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  1. #1
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    Default SCBA use question.

    Hopefully a few people here can point me in the right direction for some info.
    I was asked a question today by a coworker in regards to an SCBA that i did not really have an accurate answer for.

    What risk, if any, is there for someone with no SCBA training to use an SCBA in a totally safe enviornment?. In other words, in your living room for example?. NOT for any Hazmat, confined space space or Firefighting scenario. He said he had noticed how many we being sold on Ebay and wondered if people may be buying them for the sheer fun of it. I have seen some go for as low as $50.00. Hell, i saw a Scott 2.5 go for $9.99 with a cylinder! And i would agree that the people buying packs that old and cheap clearly are not firefighters. He knows the associated hazards in regards to SCUBA equipment without training, but most of that has to do with issues with being trapped underwater or issues with depths and the like. But for the Joe Schmo who simply wants to buy weird stuff on Ebay and at worst, run around his house with an air pak on, well?

    But an SCBA certainly has none of the issues SCUBA gear does in a non IDLH atmosphere. So is there a risk? I mean, even if a regulator failed or you ran out air, you could just pull the mask off. What other hazard is there?. Could a pack have such a low flow that you would not notice it and could become disoriented and pass out?. What else? I would like to be able to give him some real reasons as to the risks other then "It's dangerous".

    Is there any law that says says you have be certified to use an SCBA?. Is there any website that has general guidelines for use that i could point him to?

    Thanks in advance


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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    Hopefully a few people here can point me in the right direction for some info.
    I was asked a question today by a coworker in regards to an SCBA that i did not really have an accurate answer for.

    What risk, if any, is there for someone with no SCBA training to use an SCBA in a totally safe enviornment?. In other words, in your living room for example?. NOT for any Hazmat, confined space space or Firefighting scenario. He said he had noticed how many we being sold on Ebay and wondered if people may be buying them for the sheer fun of it. I have seen some go for as low as $50.00. Hell, i saw a Scott 2.5 go for $9.99 with a cylinder! And i would agree that the people buying packs that old and cheap clearly are not firefighters. He knows the associated hazards in regards to SCUBA equipment without training, but most of that has to do with issues with being trapped underwater or issues with depths and the like. But for the Joe Schmo who simply wants to buy weird stuff on Ebay and at worst, run around his house with an air pak on, well?

    But an SCBA certainly has none of the issues SCUBA gear does in a non IDLH atmosphere. So is there a risk? I mean, even if a regulator failed or you ran out air, you could just pull the mask off. What other hazard is there?. Could a pack have such a low flow that you would not notice it and could become disoriented and pass out?. What else? I would like to be able to give him some real reasons as to the risks other then "It's dangerous".

    Is there any law that says says you have be certified to use an SCBA?. Is there any website that has general guidelines for use that i could point him to?

    Thanks in advance
    I doubt there is any law. There is no law that you have to be trained to scuba dive or own/use scuba equipment. It considered common sense and some stores refuse fills etc but its not against the law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFNG View Post
    I doubt there is any law. There is no law that you have to be trained to scuba dive or own/use scuba equipment. It considered common sense and some stores refuse fills etc but its not against the law.
    Thanks for that heads up. So what risk in the situation described above? I am would say there is none, but i am looking for clarification from anyone who knows of or can think of what could go wrong?

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    Ask your insurance company. I am sure they will enlighten you on how much money they WONT be giving you when you get sued cause of stupid human pet tricks in your living room.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    Ask your insurance company. I am sure they will enlighten you on how much money they WONT be giving you when you get sued cause of stupid human pet tricks in your living room.
    yup, what he said.
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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Maybe he should look for a Superman cape on E-Bay and bid on it!!!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    Ask your insurance company. I am sure they will enlighten you on how much money they WONT be giving you when you get sued cause of stupid human pet tricks in your living room.

    I am fully aware of the mountain of things i could say to this guy to point out how stupid it is. But it still does not answer the question, WHAT are the risks?

    I for one think explaining to someone WHY something is a bad idea is far more effective then simply telling them "Don't do it, period".

    If you don't explain the risks, then many people will simply find out on thier own. I don't want to see that happen, but i myself as i mentioned in the above posts do not exactly know what risks you would be taking, that is why i posted the question here. If your already going so far as to say it's so risky his insurance company will not pay, then clearly you know the answer, well?

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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    I am fully aware of the mountain of things i could say to this guy to point out how stupid it is. But it still does not answer the question, WHAT are the risks?

    I for one think explaining to someone WHY something is a bad idea is far more effective then simply telling them "Don't do it, period".

    If you don't explain the risks, then many people will simply find out on thier own. I don't want to see that happen, but i myself as i mentioned in the above posts do not exactly know what risks you would be taking, that is why i posted the question here. If your already going so far as to say it's so risky his insurance company will not pay, then clearly you know the answer, well?
    According to the manufacturer's specifications...."....serious injury or death may occur if not used properly."
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    According to the manufacturer's specifications...."....serious injury or death may occur if not used properly."
    Once again, another post that explains NOTHING. I too have read the manual that comes with an SCBA. And i was trained to use one. But still nobody has been able to explain exactly what the risks are OUTSIDE of IDLH situations.

  10. #10
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    He might drop the cylinder on his big toe. Bad stuff there.
    "...When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you." Isaiah 43:2

  11. #11
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    What materials are present on the surface of the scba? What was it exposed to? Even if it was purely structural, the off gassing of the products of combustion from it could be dangerous and carcinogenic.

    Also, used equipment that is sold is usually sold for a reason. Fiddling with a pressurized cylinder when you are not trained and when the equipment's efficacy are questionable is a recipe for disaster.

    What about the air in it? Was it tested? Did it meet certain quality standards? Go ahead and breathe in a cylinder that is full of "bad" air...maybe O2 levels are only 10% or CO levels are high.

    I'm not really clear why anyone would want to do this. Your post is bizarre.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Are you really that dumb??

    Are you a firefighter?


    I guess if you are not, then I could almost excuse your ignorance. Think about it smart guy....if you were playing with something you had no clue what it was or how to operate it, what do you think will or could happen??

    First of all, the explosive nature of the pressurized tanks. Lots of possibilities there. Drop it, knock the valve off, expose to heat, bang it on something or anything else to compromise the tank, BANG!

    As far as the mask, what I can think of without even thinking about it, suffocation! Not knowing how to take the mask off when you don't get air, or how to get air flowing once it's on is a huge risk too.

    C'mon ding dong! Think about it. Maybe I am giving you too much credit.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    What materials are present on the surface of the scba? What was it exposed to? Even if it was purely structural, the off gassing of the products of combustion from it could be dangerous and carcinogenic.

    Also, used equipment that is sold is usually sold for a reason. Fiddling with a pressurized cylinder when you are not trained and when the equipment's efficacy are questionable is a recipe for disaster.

    What about the air in it? Was it tested? Did it meet certain quality standards? Go ahead and breathe in a cylinder that is full of "bad" air...maybe O2 levels are only 10% or CO levels are high.

    I'm not really clear why anyone would want to do this. Your post is bizarre.

    What is bizzare about my post? A person i know asked what risks exsisted for an untrained person to try an SCBA in a safe enviornment so i asked a forum filled with people who use them every day to see if anybody can shed some insight and perhaps help me help this guy with some accurate info as to risks. Thats it. Don't see what is so bizzare about that.

  14. #14
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    What is bizzare about my post? A person i know asked what risks exsisted for an untrained person to try an SCBA in a safe enviornment so i asked a forum filled with people who use them every day to see if anybody can shed some insight and perhaps help me help this guy with some accurate info as to risks. Thats it. Don't see what is so bizzare about that.
    Focus, Grasshopper.

    I gave you some solid information and my opinion on the question.

    You are trying to invalidate my opinion on the question. Good luck with that.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    MembersZone Subscriber Dickey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Focus, Grasshopper.

    I gave you some solid information and my opinion on the question.

    You are trying to invalidate my opinion on the question. Good luck with that.
    He/she is either not smart enough to get it or is fishing for something else.

    Either way, we are not taking the bait.

    Good day!
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
    Altoona, WI

    IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
    http://www.cheddarvision.tv/
    EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    Focus, Grasshopper.

    I gave you some solid information and my opinion on the question.

    You are trying to invalidate my opinion on the question. Good luck with that.
    Please point out where i tried to invalidate anything you said? The only part of your post i responded to was where you implied my question was bizzare. I appreciate your above post and the info you provided. Nowhere did i say otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    He/she is either not smart enough to get it or is fishing for something else.

    Either way, we are not taking the bait.

    Good day!

    No, your simply paranoid and you are not smart enough to "get" what i am asking. Your lack of understanding of a simple question is being turned into something it's not. If you don't understand the question, ask for clarification or move along.

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    Look no one cares what you are asking.

    People have given you your answer.

    The two of you go do your "Jackass" stunt, film it. Put it on YouTube so the rest of us can finish determining just how moronic you are.

    Nothing bad will happen. Go do the stunt. Hopefully you two don't break something that mom and dad can not replace and be done with it.
    Co 11
    Virginia Beach FD

    Amateurs practice until they get it right; professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. Which one are you?

    'The fire went out and nobody got hurt' is a poor excuse for a fireground critique.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    Look no one cares what you are asking.
    Obviously you do, because you took the time to post in here.

    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    People have given you your answer.
    Actually, No. ChiefKn was the only person who bothered to actually answer my question with a logical and informative response. Everyone else was either confused as to what i was asking or was simply posting nonsense. Overall, i guess i never posted the question clearly enough. I'm sorry for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    The two of you go do your "Jackass" stunt, film it. Put it on YouTube so the rest of us can finish determining just how moronic you are.
    Did you even read my question? Where are you getting "two" of anyone and "Jackass"? I explained i was asking for clarification as to what risks are for an amateur who aquires an SCBA. When i was trained through my department, the risks we were taught all related to firefighting and hazmat situations. They never explained any risks outside of that and i never asked. Recently someone asked ME that question and i had no answer for them. I simply did'nt know. So i came here to ask some people who may know. Thats it. It was (i thought) a simple question. Chiefkn understood me and gave me a great answer. I will pass that info along to the person who asked me. And in the end, i don't believe this guy has any intentions of buying an SCBA anyhow. I think it was just curiousity. He is in his early 50's. Whatever.

    Quote Originally Posted by DocVBFDE14 View Post
    Nothing bad will happen. Go do the stunt. Hopefully you two don't break something that mom and dad can not replace and be done with it.
    Thank you for demonstrating your level of maturity here.

    Again, sorry for not being more clear.

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    Hopefully a few people here can point me in the right direction for some info.
    I was asked a question today by a coworker in regards to an SCBA that i did not really have an accurate answer for. More than a “FEW” people has pointed out thoughts, problems and otherwise items that you have refuse to grasp!


    What risk, if any, is there for someone with no SCBA training to use an SCBA in a totally safe enviornment?. In other words, in your living room for example?. NOT for any Hazmat, confined space space or Firefighting scenario. He said he had noticed how many we being sold on Ebay and wondered if people may be buying them for the sheer fun of it. I have seen some go for as low as $50.00. Hell, i saw a Scott 2.5 go for $9.99 with a cylinder! And i would agree that the people buying packs that old and cheap clearly are not firefighters. He knows the associated hazards in regards to SCUBA equipment without training, but most of that has to do with issues with being trapped underwater or issues with depths and the like. But for the Joe Schmo who simply wants to buy weird stuff on Ebay and at worst, run around his house with an air pak on, well? The risks are – What is the “air” in that bottle?? Is in fact “air”, or has another simpleton put something in it to poison the user?? What is the reason someone who has no training using a SCBA buy one and wear it and as you say “RUN” around their house??


    But an SCBA certainly has none of the issues SCUBA gear does in a non IDLH atmosphere. So is there a risk? I mean, even if a regulator failed or you ran out air, you could just pull the mask off. What other hazard is there?. Could a pack have such a low flow that you would not notice it and could become disoriented and pass out?. What else? I would like to be able to give him some real reasons as to the risks other then "It's dangerous". I wore one on the job as part of my PPE. Why in the heck would I or any other fireman want to buy one off of e-bay and wear it around the house when it isn’t necessary??? We get enough of them at work. You “friend” has a problem if he buys something that IS NOT CERTIFIED and uses it with whatever is in the cylinder.


    Is there any law that says you have be certified to use an SCBA?. Is there any website that has general guidelines for use that i could point him to? There is no law against folks buying and playing with anything they want to. It is plain called common sense! Why would he want to do it??

    Thanks in advance
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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