The independent testing of SCBA used in the fire and emergency services continues to be conducted at SEI's contract testing laboratory, Intertek Testing Services (ITS), Cortland, N.Y. The staff at SEI and ITS closely monitored the progress of the new standard through participation on the Respiratory Protection Technical Committee of the NFPA, and are well-equipped for testing to the new standard.
The revised NFPA 1981 standard has an effective date of August 8, 2002, and supersedes all other editions. This standard was updated as part of the NFPA five-year revision cycle process. The major testing revisions for the new standard include the introduction of a new breathing machine for testing air-flow rates, and new test methods for both the vibration test and the communications test.
SEI has issued certifications to the 2002 edition of NFPA 1981 for the following models:
- ISI - Viking Series, Model Nos. 300011, 300012, 300013, 300014
- MSA - Ultralite 4500 w/MMR Air Mask and Custom 4500 w/MMR Air Mask
- Scott Health & Safety - AirPak 2.2/3.0/4.5
- Survivair - Panther
SCBA with Integrated Non-Removable PASS:
- ISI - Viking Series, Model Nos. 300011, 300012, 300013, 300014 with Integrated ISI PASS
- MSA - Ultralite 4500 w/MMR Air Mask w/ICM 2000 or ICM 2000+, Custom 4500 w/MMR Air Mask w/ICM 2000 or ICM 2000+
- Scott Health & Safety - AirPak 2.2/3.0/4.5 with Pak Alert SE or Pak Alert 1000
- Survivair - Panther w/Compass PASS
SCBA with Integrated Removable PASS:
- ISI - Viking Series, Model Nos. 300011, 300012, 300013, 300014 with DuoPASS II or T-PASS
In addition to initial compliance testing of all SCBA models, manufacturers who participate in the SEI certification program must pass a rigorous quality assurance audit of their manufacturing facility and operate in accordance with ISO 9001. Also, all products carrying the SEI label are required to be re-certified annually. This means that all products must be re-tested annually, and the manufacturing facility must continue to successfully meet all SEI quality assurance requirements during follow-up audits.
"As a non-profit organization, we are committed to making sure emergency responders have confidence in the safety products they rely on for protection from hazards", stated Patricia A. Gleason, SEI President. SEI's sole purpose for existence is to assure that products have been manufactured to specifications and should perform at expected levels. SEI-certified SCBA that meets the new criteria are now available as an option for emergency responders.
Information about SEI's certification program and the most current version of the SEI Certified Product List, can be accessed on SEI's Web site, www.SEInet.org.