Protecting firefighters from hazardous substances

In an already hazardous job, firefighters are continuously facing new challenges. Although the overall trend in fires requiring attendance is down 43 per cent compared with ten years ago1, fires that do require a response are potentially more dangerous. The very ‘fabric’ of our lives has introduced new dangers. More houses are built with wood, cars contain more plastic and energy-efficient buildings contain new types of insulation increasing heat load, duration, and toxicity of structural fires.

Firefighter, M1 SCBA, M1 SCBA Harness


The impact of toxic substances and smoke inhalation on fire and rescue services

Breathing apparatus and PPE surfaces can quickly collect dust and debris. Inhaling these substances due to the removal of SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus), or by absorbing fumes, soot and residue through the pores of the skin, is an unhealthy practice. This highlights a real need to better decontaminate equipment, but safety equipment providers must innovate to make this easier for firefighters.

But what can be done to help keep our fire and rescue teams safe and efficient on the job? The global leader in safety products to protect firefighters and rescuers, MSA Safety, is innovating to ensure improved safety with intuitive, integrated and user-friendly personal protective equipment (PPE).

The more intuitive equipment is to use, the more users will embrace it. From ensuring apparatus can be easily cleaned and decontaminated to keeping essential maintenance and checks clear and affordable, simplicity is key in the fight against smoke and toxic substance damage.

Protecting the Modern Firefighter

Working with the fire and rescue services and responding to their developing requirements, MSA created the M1 SCBA. MSA’s modern self-contained breathing apparatus represents an advanced, ergonomic and uniquely modular system that addresses the risk of smoke and substance inhalation better than ever.

The M1 is fully upgradable, easily reconfigurable in the field and is the most ergonomic and modular SCBA on the market. It has been designed for every environment, speed-up rescue time and support firefighters working in very confined spaces, where flexibility is essential.

The M1 shuns one-size-fits-all constraints. The latest face piece from MSA has been produced in three sizes and also offers three further sizes of nose cup to give the perfect fit and help prevent smoke and substances seeping in.

Furthermore, with a dedicated Entry Control Board for incident monitoring, MSA HUB base station, and fully integrated voice communication headset in the G1 mask, the M1 offers better fire scene communications and better, safer firefighting and rescue.

By assisting quick and clear communication, the M1 allows for quick decision-making, which could cut rescue time and therefore the quantity of smoke and toxic substances firefighters may be breathing.

How better cleaning process can help save lives

MSA takes safety standards to an unprecedented level.

Debris can be removed by simple decontamination and thanks to its innovative and ergonomic design, the M1 SCBA is the easiest to clean SCBA available. There is no difficulty in reaching the backplate and narrow spaces, meaning the M1 SCBA allows for a deeper and more efficient clean.

In addition, the harness repels dust and water and the material is tear resistant. This means the M1 can be cleaned and dried quickly, put on mechanical wash cycles without losing integrity, and does not need disassembly. Even the G1 mask can be cleaned in less than 30 seconds, as this simply requires inserting the mask into cleaning solution and rinsing.

With MSA’s M1 SCBA, firefighters can easily, correctly and regularly maintain equipment to prevent exposure to harmful substances and can rest assured their equipment is safe to use, time and again.

To discover more about the MSA M1 SCBA visit the MSA website:

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