SCBA-Related NFPA Revisions: What you Need to Know

New revisions to the NFPA 1981 and 1982 standards have set forth SCBA technology upgrades as well as operational benchmarks on safety equipment.

Here’s what you need to know about all the standard revisions affecting SCBA.


NFPA 1981 is the standard on SCBA for emergency services, establishing respiratory protection and functional requirements. NFPA 1982 establishes requirements for the reliable performance of personal alert safety systems (PASS) that enable first responders to alert others they need help if they are lost, disoriented, trapped, injured, or run out of breathing air.

The revisions in NFPA 1981 and 1982 change key components of firefighter SCBA. NFPA 1981-2018 includes changing the regulator connection requirements to 56.2 pounds for pull testing. It also requires that there must be two distinct actions taken by the user, for example “press” and “pull,” in order to disconnect the regulator from the facepiece.

Other changes include a modification to the pneumatic data logging requirements; the SCBA is required to record and time-stamp the breathing rate and cylinder pressure at certain intervals. In addition, the emergency breathing safety system has been standardized for interoperability, regardless of the manufacturer.

NFPA 1982-2018 includes testing related to telemetry functionality and incorporation of the universal PASS tone, regardless of the manufacturer. The new PASS tone was introduced during the 2013 revision via a Tentative Interim Amendment (TIA) and is now part of the standard.


NFPA will award approvals to manufacturers on September 30, 2019. After this date, all SCBA units shipped will be certified to the 2018 edition of the standards.

New NFPA standard revisions help keep firefighters safe in the field, whether that is through setting benchmarks for training personnel on how to properly use, don and monitor SCBA safety equipment to setting SCBA technology guidelines to streamline the tone of the PASS alarms. The result is a more protected firefighter.

For more information on NFPA 2018, visit our website.


Related Articles

See All Articles