Nearing Completion

As the leading manufacturer of SCBA in the North American fire services market, Scott Safety strives to keep our valued customers informed of upcoming regulatory standard changes.  There are two such standards scheduled for completion in fall 2017 that will affect Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA):

NFPA 1981 – Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus for Emergency Services

NFPA 1982 – Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS)

The information below provides a snapshot of the current schedule and timeline for implementation of the standards:

Current Schedule

  • The standards will be marked as 2018 Edition
  • The 2018 revision cycle is confirmed for Fall 2017
  • The issuance date is scheduled for November 2017
  • The effective date is scheduled for December 2017
  • The last ship date for 2013 Edition SCBA is confirmed as 12 months from the effective date

There are significant areas of focus that the standards committee has reviewed as part of the development process, some of which may have an impact on the design and operation of the SCBA.

Summary of Proposed Changes

NFPA 1981: 

  • Second Stage Regular Retention & Removal
    • Incorporate a strength of interface test between the facepiece and second stage regulator to ensure that the second stage regulator will not inadvertently pull out of the facepiece lens
    • If the SCBA incorporates a removable regulator, two distinct actions for disconnection shall be required prior to removal of the regulator (i.e. pull latch and rotate regulator)

Pneumatic Data Logging (There will not be a requirement to display this information on the SCBA)

    • Incorporate data logging of air pressure at prescribed time intervals
    • Incorporate data logging of pressure milestones (i.e. 100%, 75%, 50%, 35%)
    • Incorporate data logging of breathing rate at prescribed time intervals
  • Universal EBSS Fitting
    • Incorporate a standardized EBSS fitting that would be universal between SCBA manufacturers
      • The fittings are confirmed as Rectus 95 (male) and Rectus 96 (female)
      • Current Scott fittings will not be compatible

NFPA 1982: 

  • New Universal PASS Tone
    • Incorporate a new universal PASS tone to improve audible detection by the human ear
      • In December 2016, a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) was issued requiring all manufacturers of PASS devices to change the alarm tone as required in the NFPA 1982, 2013 Edition standard for PASS devices manufactured on December 21, 2016
      • The new universal PASS alarm tone will be incorporated into the NFPA 1982, 2018 Edition standard
  • Transmitting RF PASS
    • Incorporate two new tests to the RF PASS section to improve reliability

For your convenience, information highlighting the proposed NFPA 1981/1982, 2018 edition standards is available for download in the Partner Portal or by clicking on the links below.

NFPA 1981/1982, 2018 Edition Standards Update – Presentation
NFPA 1981/1982, 2018 Edition Standards Update – Customer Letter

Certification Process

The certification process for any new product can often times vary in complexity and time to completion.  While some products make it through the certification process relatively easy, other products require more in-depth testing (i.e. CBRN), which can extend the time to completion.  Ultimately, this impacts when a manufacturer can commercially ship the product to a customer.

The information below outlines the certification requirements for the NFPA 1981/1982, 2018 edition standards and provides a summary of the estimated completion dates for each.

  • The NFPA Standards Council is expected to issue the NFPA 1981/1982 standards in November 2017
  • NIOSH requires new TC approval numbers to be issued for each revision of the NFPA 1981 standard.  This means that a manufacturer wishing to obtain NFPA 1981, 2018 certification must submit specific SCBA configurations to NIOSH in order to obtain new TC approval numbers.
  • Manufacturers will be required to submit (3) separate applications, as listed below, for each SCBA that they wish to have tested and certified to the NFPA 1981, 2018 edition standard.
    • NIOSH 42 CFR, Part 84
    • NFPA 1981/1982
  • Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) has tentatively announced that they will begin accepting product submissions on November 15, 2017.  The window for accepting product submissions will remain open for 30 days and is expected to close on December 15, 2017.
    • Manufacturers that submit product within the above submission window will be part of the first wave of testing and certification issuance.
    • Manufacturers that miss submitting products during the above submission window will have their products tested after completion of the testing of the first wave of product submittals, resulting in certifications for products that “missed” the window being issued sometime after the first wave of certifications are issued.
  • Test requirements include:
    • NIOSH 42 CFR, Part 84
      • This testing is conducted at NIOSH NPPTL in Pittsburgh, PA.
    • NFPA 1981/1982
      • This testing is conducted at Intertek in Cortland, NY.
      • This testing is conducted jointly at NIOSH NPPTL in Pittsburgh, PA and RDECOM in Edgewood, MD.
  • Evaluation of products submitted for approval includes in-depth performance and qualification testing.  This process is estimated to take 7-9 months for completion, beginning in January 2018.
  • Approvals are granted in the following order:
    • NIOSH 42 CFR, Part 84
    • NFPA 1981, 2018 edition and NIOSH CBRN jointly issued by SEI and NIOSH
  • Scott Safety expects to receive approvals and be in a position to ship NFPA 1981/1982, 2018 edition products on or before October 1, 2018.

The information below outlines the certification requirements for upgrading legacy SCBA to the NFPA 1981/1982, 2018 edition standards.

  • Manufacturers are required to submit separate applications for upgrading legacy SCBA approved to previous editions of the NFPA 1981 standard.
  • The process for NFPA 1981 upgrade approval is identical to the initial certification process, with the additional requirement below:
    • A requirement for achieving SCBA upgrade approvals is the submission of fielded units that have been upgraded for test and evaluation by the approval agencies.
  • Historically, the approval agencies have not considered accepting submission applications for upgrades to legacy products until the initial wave of the new standard approvals is completed.
  • Approvals cannot be issued for SCBA upgrades until the manufacturer has received the initial NFPA 1981, 2018 edition approval.

Scott Safety will monitor the testing and certification process and will provide updates as they become available.

NOTE: All Technical Committee meetings are open to the public.  For more information on committee activities and other information related to a particular standard, please visit the “Doc info” pages at, and select the appropriate standard from the List of NFPA Codes and Standards.

Thank you for your continued support and confidence in Scott Safety’s respiratory protection products.  Should you have further questions, please feel free to contact your local Scott Regional Sales Manager or Field Service Specialist.