Skip to main content
  • Feature Story

UL Solutions Now Tests, Certifies SCBA and PASS Devices Used by Firefighters

UL Solutions now offers testing and certification of self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) and personal alert safety systems (PASS) that are used by firefighters.

Firefighter ready to spray water

July 8, 2024

UL Solutions has expanded its testing and certification capabilities for personal protective equipment (PPE) to include self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs). As an integral piece of the structural firefighting ensemble, SCBAs and personal alert safety systems (PASS) devices are subject to rigorous safety standards from agencies such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Testing and certification is done to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA ) 1981: Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for Emergency Services, NFPA 1982: Standard on Personal Alert Safety Systems (PASS) and NFPA 1986: Standard on Respiratory Protection Equipment for Tactical and Technical Operations. These standards are designed to help protect users through consistent manufacturing processes that result in equipment that meet applicable requirements to work as intended — helping protect first responders from some of the hazards of their work.

Why test to NFPA 1981 and 1982?

The NFPA 1981 and 1982 standards establish requirements for evaluation and testing testing for certification of the SCBAs and PASS devices worn by firefighters. These standards were designed to evaluate an SCBA ability to withstand high heat and flame exposure while allowing the wearer to breathe normally without interruption, even when experiencing extreme situations, such as a fall or other physical impacts. The SCBA and PASS devices must also undergo other testing to determine that they meet applicable requirements to continue to provide adequate alarm signals during those extreme situations, including the communication systems, light-up displays and other audible alarms.

Achieving certification to NFPA 1981 and 1982 requires passing stringent testing that goes beyond the regulatory requirements evaluated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). When a manufacturer has their product certified to these additional requirements outlined by the NFPA, it helps provide peace of mind to their customers — demonstrating that their SCBAs have been designed and built to meet applicable requirements to help protect firefighters during some of the most difficult conditions they face.

Additionally, UL Solutions offers testing and certification to NFPA 1986, which covers the testing and certification of SCBAs for use in technical rescue incidents. First responders in these situations may not face extreme heat and flame exposure, but the ability to stay protected in a hazardous environment is just as critical. The integrity, ability and durability of their SCBA is critical, as it must be able to meet applicable requirements to provide oxygen consistently in harsh environments.

How UL Solutions can help with SCBA testing and certification

With its beginning in fire safety, UL Solutions has remained committed to helping first responders stay safe. We've long offered testing services for a wide variety of PPE used by emergency service personnel.

To meet the needs of this specialized class of equipment, UL Solutions has expanded our PPE-related offerings through:

  • Center of Excellence for PPE — Our technically advanced facility in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, allows for coordination of testing and certification activities for customers’ products, including SCBA, in one location.
  • New equipment and testing processes — We’ve invested in advanced laboratory technology and equipment and updated testing processes to accommodate SCBA and PASS equipment.
  • Video witnessing capabilities — We offer high-definition recording tools to support remote witnessing of testing activities. Customers can view testing from multiple angles in real time, and they can request footage for internal use.

By utilizing UL Solutions third-party testing and certification services, PPE manufacturers can increase confidence that their products meet applicable requirements to help reduce the risk of injury, falls, chemical exposure and other job-related hazards for first responders while demonstrating their commitment to and compliance with stringent requirements around this necessary equipment.

Learn more about UL Solutions PPE offerings, including our new SCBA capabilities.


Get connected with our sales team

Thanks for your interest in UL's products and services. Let's collect some information so we can connect you with the right person.

Please wait…