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  1. #21
    Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000


    Just my thoughts...
    We're an OSHA state, which according to our lawyer, says that you either wear soft contacts or get mask inserts. Having used mask inserts for 9 years in the employ of Uncle Sam, in my protective mask, I wasn't about to go that route. So I went with the soft lenses. They don't give the vision that the hard lenses do, but I can sleep with the soft lenses in, so when we get toned out at night, I just gear up and go.
    Now, we are each issued our own mask (we use Scott), so I know where it's been, keep it wiped down & nasty-free, etc. That might not work for those of you who don't have your own personal mask.
    And not to flame anybody, but just because I'm masked up doesn't mean that I'm going to be going into the smoke, where you can't see much but the glow. I'm on the HazMat team, so we have to be able to see clearly to do our job, look for blue (brown in our case) canaries , plus car fires, etc.....
    Just my thoughts!

    [ 12-14-2001: Message edited by: Tanker06 ]

  2. #22
    Forum Member dragonfyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Birdsboro, PA


    This is interesting to hear a "air pack technician" say it's ok to break a seal. He could never attend a burn class at the PA State Fire Academy with glasses hanging out the sides. Even the rubber straps are forbidden. You break a seal and even with positive pressure masks you can still get toxins in.
    I have the insert in my personal mask, both purchased by my company. Those of us with seniority and interior experience got our own masks several years ago. The Relief Association laws of Pennsylvania allow the "glasses" to be purchased with relief funds so none of our members have to worry about the expense.

    The insert is also great for scuba diving or snorkeling. Just lay it in the mask, so what if it rolls around a little, at least you can see. I used it in Hawaii and the Caribbean and it was great.

    [ 12-14-2001: Message edited by: dragon-fyre ]

    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".

  3. #23
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Laguna Hills, CA


    The respondents who stated that street glasses (or anything else, for that matter) should not break the facepiece seal speak the truth. OSHA's 29CFR 1910.134, ANSI Z88.2, and NFPA 1500 all have sections that specifically prohibit facial hair or other objects from interfering with a respirator's face-to-facepiece seal. All SCBA manufacturers offer some sort of spectacles kit for their products. Only the kit submitted to NIOSH by the SCBA manufacturer and certified by NIOSH for use with that specific SCBA model are allowed to be used. Anything else, including use of street glasses or use of spectacles kits not submitted by the SCBA manufacturer to NIOSH, voids the NIOSH certification.

    There are valid reasons to be concerned if a seal is broken. Even in a positive pressure SCBA, the user's safety can be compromised. Several problems can occur:

    1. Duration can be reduced. No matter what one might think, there WILL be leakage if a seal is broken, whether by temple bars or by facial hair. Air leaking from the facepiece to the atmosphere is air that is no longer available to the firefighter. Reduced duration poses an obvious threat to a firefighter's safety and to his/her ability to fight fires effectively.

    2. A person with a leak could "overbreathe" the regulator; that is, with enough leakage, a firefighter could cause the pressure in the facepiece to go negative in relation to ambient pressure, allowing contaminants to enter. Even though SCBA regulator performance has improved considerably over the years, and the likelihood of creating a negative pressure has significantly decreased, it is still a possibility, depending on the severity of the leak.

    I'm the SCBA Product Manager at Survivair. I'm appalled that in this supposedly "enlightened" day and age, there are still firefighters who think it's OK to break a seal. It never has been, and it never will be, under any circumstances. If you do, you do so at risk to you and your fellow firefighters, and you create unwanted and unnecessary legal exposure for your department. It's not worth it. Just obtain the official, certified spectacles kit made for whatever SCBA your department uses.

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