Having an understanding of how to use breathing apparatus is an essential skill to have. Breathing apparatus is an a piece of equipment which will allow the person using the equipment to work in a safe condition in an atmosphere in which it is necessary such as in a fire emergency. Breathing apparatus provides air to the user as air will move from a container into a mask which the person can then breathe from. Let’s take a look at how to use breathing apparatus.
If you were to take some fire warden training, or other emergency training, this is something you would have to learn. This is because using the equipment can mean the difference between life and death both in the case of yourself and someone else. In a fire emergency you can’t help anyone if you cannot breathe properly.
Before you put the apparatus on, you need to check the mask to make sure there are no problems. Ensure there are no cuts on the glass or dents on the cylinder. Check that the head harness and the face piece fits well. If you notice any damage, then the mask cannot be used for obvious reasons.
The next step is to put on the cylinder and backpack. Some people may struggle to put the equipment on as it can be awkward. If this is your situation, don’t hesitate to ask for some help from a partner. Adjust the belt and straps so that it is comfortable for you. If you are going to be doing a long day of emergency training or fire warden training, take the time to do this so you can put your full focus into learning how to use the breathing apparatus and are not distracted by a belt.
Place the mask over your face and adjust those straps also. Lastly, ensure that the pressure indicator is in the correct position- one where it can easily be read.
The next thing to do is what is called a negative test. To perform this, block the end of the inhalation tube with the palm of your hand. If you have fitted everything correctly, the face piece will collapse against your face. Make minor adjustments and repeat the test until you get the correct result from this test.
When using the equipment, it is important that communication is maintained with the correct people during your emergency training or fire warden training. Things are done in emergency training as part of a team and should be done with the correct procedures. If you take some emergency training this is a key component of what you learn.
Removing the equipment
Removing the equipment is simple. The purge valve must first be closed followed by pressing the air saver switch. After removing the face mask and head harness, turn the cylinder valve off. Loosen the remaining straps and take off the equipment. To ensure there is no trapped air, turn the airflow controller on and off.
The importance of breathing apparatus in dangerous situations cannot be overstated. Make sure you practice application of the mask until it becomes second nature.