The self-contained breathing apparatus continues to witness rapid transformation in technology, along with expanding application range to include tracking of firefighters inside building structures and physiological monitoring. Self-contained breathing apparatus has been witnessing integration of personal alert safety system alarms.
Potential for integrating technologies such as thermal imaging and command post air supply management and monitoring, continues to uphold developments and penetration of the self-contained breathing apparatus across industrial sectors. Self-contained breathing apparatus has also witnessed demand as an integral component of personal protective equipment that are used by rescue workers and firefighters.
Increased number of road accidents & injuries has led regulatory frameworks to become more stringent. Federal and local agencies have been enforcing mandatory actions for reducing the number of road accidents. Standards developed for respiratory protective equipment by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have further enhanced application of self-contained breathing apparatus, thereby driving its demand.
Leading manufacturers of the self-contained breathing apparatus have introduced a wide range of the equipment, which feature sturdy and reliable materials. Self-contained breathing apparatus manufacturers who focus on development of accessories to meet requirements of professionals in areas such as petrochemical or marine industry, or confined space entry, are likely to witness promising future growth prospects.
Mandatory Use of Supplied Air Respirators for Firefighting to Boost Demand for SCBAs
Supplied Air Respirators such as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) are extensively used by firefighters, as well as rescue workers, to provide breathable air in life-threatening situations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – an agency of the United States Department of Labor – requires employer organizations to provide employees with respirators in hazardous work conditions. The OSHA Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134) requires firefights to wear a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) while entering an immediately dangerous to life or health (IDLH) atmosphere. It is likely to boost the demand for supplied air respirators and complement the growth of the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) market. As various types of supplied air respirators including SCBAs must comply with stringent regulations, it may create some manufacturing challenges for market players in the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) market.
Self-contained breathing apparatus manufactured and distributed in the U.S. and Canada must meet requirements and guidelines developed by the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA Standard 1981. In addition, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a certification program and all the SCBAs designed for chemical, nuclear, and radiological environments must be approved by NIOSH. Mandated use of SCBAs in firefighting and numerous regulatory requirements in North America may make a significant impact on the growth of the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) market in the near future. Not only in North America, but SCBAs manufactured and marketed in Europe must conform to the Personal Protective Equipment Directive (89/686/EEC) developed by the European Commission. Market players in the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) must consider these standards and regulations while manufacturing SCBAs for firefighting as well as industrial uses.
Market Players Employing Advanced Technology to Comply With the Revised Regulations
As many government organizations are mandating the use of personal safety equipment such as SCBAs in hazardous work environments, leading manufacturers are producing SCBAs that comply with the upgraded regulations and standards. Drägerwerk AG, a leading manufacturer in the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) market, recently announced that it would offer a complementary NFPA 2018 upgrade kit on the purchase of new 2013 Dräger SCBAs. In these upgrade kits, the company provides a Dräger FPS 7000 mask, PSS LDV and holder, NFPA 2018 upgrade compliance labels, communications carrier, and a Dräger Buddy Breather pouch with UEBSS marking. By providing a free upgrade kit, Dräger is trying to attract fire departments to purchase new 2013 edition SCBAs approved by NFPA and NIOSH.
Dräger also announced that it will soon unveil its patented technology that triggers an alarm on detecting the presence of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and carbon monoxide (CO), also known as ‘toxic twins’, in the atmosphere. Along with this alarm technology, the company also will also introduce SCBAs integrated with a new hands-free team communication system. Leveraging technological advancements is likely to remain a popular trend among most manufacturers in the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) market. Similarly, MSA Safety Inc. – an American manufacturer of safety products – developed technologically advanced and balanced SCBAs and recently deployed over 1,100 SCBAs to the Chicago Fire Department (CFD). Leading manufacturers in the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) market are employing next-gen technologies to manufacture state-of-the-art SCBAs and improve their sales.
3M-Scott Safety to Sponsor Firefighter Cancer Awareness Campaigns to Promote its Latest SCBA Model
The 3M Company, an American multinational conglomerate corporation, recently acquired Scott Safety, an American manufacturer of supplier air respirators, from Johnson Controls for a total value of US$ 2 billion. The new partnership, 3M Scott recently introduced its new product the Air-Pak X3 Pro – one of the most advanced SCBAs designed for firefighters. In order to ensure the firefighters’ safety, 3M Scott incorporated advanced technologies to improve comfort and connectivity of Air-Pak X3 Pro SCBAs. The company is investing in R&D activities to develop SCBAs that minimize the exposure to smoke-borne carcinogens and prevent firefighters from the risks of developing cancer.
As a part of promoting the sales of its new Air?Pak™ X3 Pro, 3M Scott is launching a new Cancer Awareness Campaign, along with the launch of Firefighter Cancer Tool Kits. Recently, 3M Scott pledged $100,000 in donations for cancer prevention and awareness activities for the firefighter community. The company has built the new charitable initiative to share the best practices toward the safety and cancer prevention of firefighters. Investments made by the company in this cause are likely to make a positive impact on the sales of Air?Pak™ X3 Pro in the upcoming years. The company stated that it will continue to support firefighters by developing innovative products to protect them on the job.
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