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Frequently Asked Questions

North Frontier™ SCBA Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus
Frequently Asked Questions

North Frontier™ SCBA, General Questions
North Frontier™ SCBA Specifications
NIOSH Approval Numbers
PDF of North Frontier™ SCBA Technical Data
Cylinders and Refilling
Inspection & Testing
Medical Evaluations
Fit Testing
Conversion to PDAR
North Frontier™ SCBA, Warranty
Authorized North Service Centers for North Frontier™ SCBA
SCBA, General Questions


North Frontier™ SCBA, General Questions

Q: What is the North Frontier™ SCBA?
A: It is a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The North Frontier SCBA is designed for industrial use, including confined spaces and other Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) environments.


Q: What is the difference between the North Frontier™ SCBA and other SCBAs?
A: There are several features that distinguish the North Frontier™ SCBA from other brands.
Available with facepiece or hood. The majority of brands are only available with a facepiece. The North Frontier™ SCBA is available with either a tight fitting facepiece or a hood.
Smallest demand valve available: The Compact Demand Valve (CDV) is extremely lightweight and low profile.
Simple, easy to use. The North Frontier™ SCBA is specifically designed to be as lightweight as easy to use as possible. Most industrial users of SCBAs do not need many of the features that are required on NFPA SCBAs. These “extras” are often included as standard features on many brands of industrial SCBAs, adding to the cost and complexity of these units.

To view our brochure with more information on the North Frontier™ SCBA: Frontier Brochure PDF

Q: What is the basic North Frontier™ SCBA?
A: The basic North Frontier SCBA is the most economical SCBA offered. It is ideal for occasional users who do not need the additional features that are included with the Standard North Frontier™ SCBA.
 

Q: What features are on the standard North Frontier™ SCBA that are not on the basic economy North Frontier™ SCBA?
A: The standard North Frontier SCBA is designed for more frequent users of SCBA and include several features not available on the economy model.




Q: Can I order the basic North Frontier™ SCBA with any options, like ones that are standard on the regular North Frontier™ SCBA?
A: No. The economy North Frontier™ SCBA is not available with any options, even as a custom order.


Q: What is the CDV
A: CDV is short for Compact Demand Valve. It is a very low profile, lightweight demand valve that is side mounted so it is out of the way of the user’s work zone and vision.


Q: Why would I want to use a hood with my SCBA?
A: There are several advantages to using a hood.

Hoods accommodate users with prescription eyewear. The primary seal is not located around the face, where is would be compromised by eyewear temples. This is especially important during an emergency where users who wear prescription eyewear may not have other prescription options available.
Hoods can fit a wider range of facial types. Since the primary seal is around the neck rather than the face, people with very narrow faces or “chiseled” features may get a better fit with a hood.
Hoods can be easier to put on. This saves precious seconds and may facilitate training people who would only use an SCBA for emergency escape.
Anti-claustrophobic. Many people find tight fitting facepieces restricting, and prefer the more open feel of a completely clear hood.


Q: What is the difference between the PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and the polyurethane hood?
A:

• Visually, the PVC hood is completely clear, while the polyurethane hood material is blue.
• Polyurethane also performs better than PVC in cold environments.
• The PVC hood has better chemical resistance to many acids, while the polyurethane hood has better chemical resistance to alcohols and aromatics.

Urethane        PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
Alcohols           Weak acids
Fuels               Strong alkali solution
Mineral oils       Organic acids
Greases, oils



Q: Do I need to fit test users who will be wearing the North Frontier™ SCBA hood?
A: Yes. OSHA considers these hoods tight fitting since they have a seal around the neck and are defined as a pressure demand respirator. Therefore they should be fit tested prior to use. Hoods are available in two sizes, small/medium and large/extra large. For more information on Fit Testing


Q: Do users who will be wearing the North Frontier™ SCBA hood need to be clean shaven?
A: Within the sealing area, yes.

• NIOSH considers the nose cup part of the respirator’s seal, and require that no facial hair come between the face and the nose cup sealing surface.
• There must not be any hair, jewelry, clothing, etc between the neck seal and the user’s skin.


Q: Is the North Frontier™ SCBA available with a silicone facepiece?
A: Not at this time, however North will be offering the Frontier with a silicone facepiece in the near future.


Q: Can I connect my existing North air-purifying facepiece with a North Frontier™ SCBA?
A: No. There are several differences, including the lens, that would make it problematic to convert easily.


Q: Is the North Frontier™ SCBA available with First Breath?
A: Yes. All standard versions of the North Frontier™ SCBA include a First Breath release. The Basic North Frontier™ SCBA is not available with First Breath.


Q: What is the flow rate of the North Frontier™ SCBA By-Pass?
A: Because the By-Pass is adjustable flow rates will vary, but the average is between 95 and 100 lpm, with a minimum of 85 lpm and a maximum of 130 lpm.
For more information and a definition of First Breath see SCBA, General Questions below.


Q: How long will the cylinder’s air last if I use the By-Pass?
A: The service duration of your SCBA’s cylinder will be dramatically reduced if the By-Pass is used frequently or left on continuously, such as during an emergency. If you use the By-Pass as an emergency backup, (i.e. the demand valve failed) you must immediately exit the contaminated area.
Fully open and used continuously the By-Pass will empty:

• A completely full 30 minute cylinder in 12 minutes
• A completely full 60 minute cylinder in 22 minutes

For more information and a definition of By-Pass see SCBA, General Questions below.

 

Q: Is the North Frontier™ SCBA available with an airline adapter?
A: Yes. All standard versions of the North Frontier SCBA have Foster quick connections for supplied air. No additional adapters or parts are needed. Go to Conversion to PDAR for more information on the North Frontier™ as a PDAR.


 

Q: Is the North Frontier™ SCBA available with a buddy breather?
A: Yes. All standard versions of the North Frontier™ SCBA can be ordered with the optional buddy breather connection. This is an option that must be ordered with the unit, it can not be added later.
 

Q: Is the North Frontier™ SCBA available with Kevlar® straps on the harness?
A: Yes. All standard North Frontier™ SCBA models can be ordered with Kevlar straps. Add the suffix ‘K’ to the part number to indicate Kevlar. The economy Frontier is only available with nylon straps.
 

Q: Can I use the North Frontier™ SCBA for structural fire fighting?
A: No. None of the North Frontier™ SCBA units have NIOSH approval for structural fire fighting or meet the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Standards.


Q: Does the North Frontier™ SCBA have CBRN approval?
A: No. The North Frontier™ SCBA is not approved by NIOSH as a CBRN respirator. Click here for information on North respirators with CBRN approval.

North Frontier™ SCBA Specifications

Q: What materials are used in the North Frontier™ SCBA?
A: Refer to the North Frontier™ SCBA Tech Data sheet for a complete list of component materials. Tech Data PDF


Q: How loud is the low air alarm on the North Frontier™ SCBA?
A: The alarm sounds at 90 dB. It is a chest mounted whistle and activates when the tank is approximately ¼ full (23 to 27%).


Q: What are the weights and dimensions of the North Frontier™ SCBA?
A: The following are weights of the SCBA as it would be worn. For additional information, including shipping weights and dimensions refer to our Technical Data Sheet Tech Data PDF


 

Q: What are the temperature ranges at which I can operate the North Frontier™ SCBA?



Q: What are the NIOSH approval numbers for the North Frontier™ SCBA?

 


Cylinders and Refilling

Q: Where can I get my cylinder filled?
A: Local dive shops and North authorized Service Centers can refill your cylinders. List of authorized North Service Centers. Some local Fire Departments may also fill your SCBA cylinders, especially if your units are used in conjunction with a Confined Space rescue, Haz-Mat cleanup or other emergency plan for your facility.


Q: Are there any precautions I must take when I get my cylinder filled?
A: Yes. The following is a general guide for your reference. Only have your cylinders filled by a shop or facility that is familiar with refilling breathing air cylinders and all the safety precautions required by OSHA.

Make sure the site that is filling your cylinders uses the correct psi (pressure) for the cylinder. Some dive shops, and many rural Fire Departments may not be able to accommodate 4500 psi cylinders so it is best to call ahead to verify.
Never over fill your cylinder. Over filling will cause damage to the cylinder, requiring it to be taken out of service and repaired.
Only fill your cylinder with Grade D or better air. Dive shops, Fire Departments and North authorized Service Centers know what air to use, which is why North recommends only going to one of these reputable establishments. Never use shop air or compressors that are designed for non-breathing air or gases.
NEVER FILL YOUR CYLINDER WITH OXYGEN
Make sure the cylinder is completely filled. “Fast Filling” can result in less air (pressure) as the cylinder cools to room temperature.


Q: What is Grade D air?
A: OSHA requires all supplied air respirators, including SCBA, use Grade D or better air. Better air is defined as E or F. The specifications in the U.S. for Grade D air are described in ANSI/Compressed Gas Association (CGA) Commodity Specification for Air, G-7.1-1989, and in Canada in CSA Standard Z180.1.
OSHA specifications include:

• Oxygen (O2) content a minimum of 19.5% and a maximum of 23.5% per volume
• Hydrocarbon (condensed) content of 5 mg/m3 or less
• Carbon Monoxide (CO) content of 10 ppm or less
• Carbon Dioxide (CO2) content of 1,000 ppm or less
• Lack of a noticeable odor
• The moisture content in the cylinder may not exceed a dew point of -50˚ F (-45.6˚ C) at 1 atmosphere pressure.


Q: There was a very loud bang as the cylinder was being filled. Now what!?
A: You have probably over filled your cylinder, putting in more air than the tank’s capacity. The loud bang is the burst disk rupturing.

Reasons for over filling are:
• Filling a lower pressure cylinder to a higher pressure (such as a 2216 psi cylinder to 3000 or 4500 psi)
• Continuing to fill a cylinder after it has reached its maximum pressure

You must now take this cylinder out of service and have it repaired. List of authorized North Service Centers.


Q: What happens if I over fill my cylinder?
A: You will hear a very loud bang. That is the indication that you have just ruptured the burst disc, a safety precaution that prevents damage to your SCBA’s pneumatics. At this point you must take the cylinder out of service and have it repaired. List of authorized North Service Centers.


Q: What happens if I under fill my cylinder?
A: You will not have the full rated service of the cylinder when you use it. This becomes especially critical if you will be very physically active while wearing the SCBA.

NOTE: OSHA requires SCBAs to be completely filled before using


Q: How do I tell the low pressure (2216 psi) cylinder and SCBA pneumatics from the high pressure (4500 psi) cylinder and SCBA pneumatics?
A: There are a couple quick visual ways to tell the difference.

• 1) The hand wheel on the backplate that is used to turn on the flow of air; and 2) the female connection on the tank’s pneumatics are color coded.
    * Black: low pressure (2216 psi)
    * Red: high pressure (4500 psi)
• The pressure gauge located on the cylinder and the chest mounted gauge on the harness assembly indicate the total pressure required for that unit
    * 2216 psi : low pressure
    * 4500 psi: high pressure


Q: Can I use my high pressure (4500 psi) cylinder on a North Frontier™ SCBA harness with low pressure (2216 psi) pneumatics?
A: No. If you inadvertently attach the wrong cylinder:

There will be a massive leak of air. Because the male and female valves will not connect correctly, you will hear a very noticeable leak of air when you turn on the flow of air.
Turn off the air flow immediately!

Additionally:
It voids the NIOSH approval
It voids the North Warranty on your unit


Q: Can I use my low pressure (2216 psi) cylinder on a North Frontier™ SCBA harness with high pressure (4500) pneumatics?
A: No. It is physically possible, but definitely not condoned by North, OSHA or NIOSH.

It voids the NIOSH approval
It voids the North Warranty on your unit
 

Inspection & Testing

Q: How often do cylinders need to be hydrostatically tested?


Q: Where can I get my cylinder hydrostatically tested?
A: North recommends using a local dive shop or an authorized North Service Center to hydrostatically test and inspect your cylinders. For a list of authorized Service Centers contact North Customer Service or click here. List of authorized North Service Centers


Q: How many years can I keep my SCBA in service?
A: The life of an SCBA is determined by the type of cylinder. And it is the cylinder that will have a expiration date, while the facepiece and pneumatics of the SCBA can continue to be used indefinitely as long as they are in good condition.

An aluminum cylinder can be used indefinitely as long as it continues to pass the hydrostatic test every five (5) years. Composite cylinders (also known as full wrapped and hoop wrapped), and carbon cylinders must be taken out of service after fifteen (15) years even if they would pass the hydrostatic test.

Any cylinder must be taken out of service if that cylinder fails to pass the hydrostatic test, even if it is prior to the 15 year limit. As stated above, the pneumatics and facepiece of an SCBA can continue to be used if not damaged or worn, even after the 15 limit, if the out of date cylinder is replaced by one that passes the hydrostatic test and is less than 15 years old.


Q: How often must I inspect my SCBA?
A: Like all safety equipment, your SCBA must be inspected before you use it, each and every time. SCBAs must also be inspected monthly, whether or not they are dedicated for emergency use. For step by step instructions refer to the North User’s Instructions for the North Frontier™ SCBA, click here.

Fit Testing

Q: Do I need to fit test users who will be wearing an SCBA?
A: Yes, all respirators that are required by OSHA or the employer, including SCBAs, must be fit tested.


Q: Do I need to fit test users who will be wearing the North Frontier™ SCBA hood?
A: Yes. OSHA considers these hoods tight fitting since they have a seal around the neck and are defined as a pressure demand respirator. Therefore they should be fit tested prior to use. Hoods are available in two sizes, small/medium and large/extra large.


Q: What type of fit testing can I use?
A: You can use either Qualitative (QLFT) or Quantitative (QNFT).


Q: How do I perform a Qualitative Fit Test (QLFT)?
A: You must perform this test in the negative pressure mode, i.e. the facepiece is not connected to the cylinder. Irritant Smoke is recommended since Bitrex requires an N95 filter which necessitates additional steps and adapters.
There are two facepiece options.
1. Use a surrogate facepiece. You can use the 5400 facepiece (54001, 54001S) with standard North cartridges (the 7583P100 is recommended for Irritant Smoke).
2. Use an adapter on the North Frontier™ SCBA facepiece, You need the North Fit Test Adapter (900099) and one PAPR cartridge (4003HE is recommended for Irritant Smoke)
Note: You will need to block off the adapter’s air inlet port for the Porta-Count tubing, otherwise you will have breakthrough.
Follow the OSHA Fit Test protocol for Qualitative Fit Testing outlined in Appendix A of 29 CFR 1910.134.


Q: How do I perform a Quantitative Fit Test (QNFT)?
A: North offers an adapter for use with the TSI Porta-Count®. A HEPA filter with 40 DIN thread is also required. This test is performed in the negative pressure mode, i.e. the facepiece is not connected to the cylinder, but instead it is attached to the Porta-Count. Follow TSI’s directions for the Porta-Count. For some general guidelines, you can also refer to the OSHA Fit Test protocol for Quantitative Fit Testing outlined in Appendix A of 29 CFR 1910.134.
North part numbers required:
900099: Fit Test Adapter for use with the North Frontier facepiece or hood
40HE: HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air-Purifying) filter
 

Medical Evaluations

Q: Do SCBA users need to be medically evaluated?
A: Yes. A Medical Evaluation by a Professional Licensed Health Care Provider (PLHCP) is required for anyone who must wear a respirator. Refer to Appendix C of OSHA’s Respiratory Standard 29 CFR 1910.134 for more information and a copy of the Medical Evaluation Form.


Q: Do SCBA users need to have a medical exam?
A: Maybe. A Medical Evaluation is required for anyone who must wear a respirator. This does not necessarily mean a full examination. But there are very specific guidelines that may require a Medical exam. The Medical Evaluation must be done by a Professional Licensed Health Care Provider or Physician (PLHCP). In addition to medical conditions that would require an exam the PLHCP may require it prior to clearing an individual as able to use a respirator.

It is possible this examination will include a pulmonary function test (PFT), but PFTs are not required by OSHA. Refer to the OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.134 for complete information on when a Medical Exam is required.


Q: As the Respiratory Protection Program Manager, what information must I give the person providing the Medical Evaluation (the Professional Licensed Health Care Provider [PLHCP])?
A: You must provide the person performing your Medical Evaluations as much information as possible to determine the specific physical and psychological stress SCBA respirator use could cause on your workers. This includes:

• Type of respirator to be used, in this case an SCBA, and its weight link to above / SCBA weights
• Duration and frequency of the respirator use (including rescue and escape)
• Expected physical work effort (minimal or heavy exertion?)
• Additional protective clothing to be worn (Level A chemical suits?)
• Temperature and humidity extremes that may be encountered

Conversion to PDAR (Pressure Demand Airline Respirator)

Q: What is the advantage of using the North Frontier™ SCBA as a PDAR?
A: There are many scenarios where this option would benefit users.
• You need a PDAR with escape, but the escape route is longer than the few minutes provided by a PDAR with a 5, 10 or 15 minute escape bottle. Converting your SCBA into a PDAR gives you a 30, 45 or 60 minute escape bottle - and additional time to get out of the contaminated environment.
• Sometimes your job’s duration will take more than the 20 to 45 minutes you will get from a 30 minute or 60 minute rated SCBA. When your SCBA is used as a PDAR it has an independent air supply. If a compressor is your source of air this supply can also be unlimited in duration. This will allow you to stay on site until the job is done, but you still have the flexibility and portability of an SCBA when you need it for other jobs.


Q: How do I convert my North Frontier™ SCBA to a PDAR?
A: Standard North Frontier™ SCBA units are sold with an airline fitting. To convert these units into a PDAR you need the appropriate hoses and a remote source of breathable air.


Q: What hoses can I use with my North Frontier™ SCBA?
A: You can only use North hoses approved by NIOSH for use with the North Frontier™ SCBA units. All hoses are preassembled with one male and one female quick connect coupler. Standard hoses are shipped with brass Foster couplers and include the suffix FB. Hoses with Hansen or Schrader couplers may be special ordered.

Standard
900006FB 6 foot, ¼” I.D., Foster couplers
900025FB 25 foot, ¼” I.D., Foster couplers
900050FB 50 foot, ¼” I.D., Foster couplers
900100FB 100 foot, ¼” I.D., Foster couplers

Special Order

900006HH 6 foot, ¼” I.D., Hansen couplers
900025HH 25 foot, ¼” I.D., Hansen couplers
900050HH 50 foot, ¼” I.D., Hansen couplers
900100HH 100 foot, ¼” I.D., Hansen couplers
900006SC 6 foot, ¼” I.D., Schrader couplers
900025SC 25 foot, ¼” I.D., Schrader couplers
900050SC 50 foot, ¼” I.D., Schrader couplers
900100SC 100 foot, ¼” I.D., Schrader couplers


Q: What is the required pressure setting if I am using my North Frontier™ SCBA as a PDAR?
A: The approved pressure setting is 80 to 120 psig. If you are using couplers at the air source you need to add 1 psi and no more than 5 psi to the pressure setting.


Q: What is the maximum length of hose that I can use?
A: The maximum length of hose configurations is 300 feet. Within that you can only use one (1) 6 foot length. It is possible to combine up to 12 lengths of 25 foot hose, but it is not recommended due to pressure drop that can be caused by the high number of couplings (13).

North Frontier, Warranty

Q: What is the warranty on North Frontier™ SCBA?
North Safety Products warrants the North Frontier™ SCBA to the original owner to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of three (3) years from the date of original shipment from North’s factory. North’s obligation under this warranty will be, at North’s option, to repair or replace without charge the apparatus or any of its components found by North to have been defective during the warranty period, under the following terms:

1. The warranty claim is made (i) by the owner who purchased the apparatus new from North or an authorized North Distributor, as shown on the completed Warranty & Registration Card returned to North; and (ii) not more than three (3) months after the end of the warranty period.
2. The apparatus or component is found by North to have been defective in normal use and service during the warranty period of three (3) years from the date of purchase by the owner as shown on the Warranty & Registration Card.
3. The apparatus or component is returned freight prepaid to North, either to its factory in Cranston, Rhode Island, or to a North authorized service center, and is thereafter returned to the owner freight collect.
4. This warranty does not apply (i) to any apparatus or component found by North to have become defective as a result of any accident, alteration, misuse, abuse, or servicing with parts not approved by North; or (ii) to deterioration or aging of any component made of rubber or other elastomer since they can be adversely affected by undue exposure to heat, sun, water, chemicals, ozone or other deteriorative elements; (iii) facepiece lens and parts that become defective through normal use.
The decision as to what constitutes normal use shall be made solely by NORTH.
5. To maintain this warranty, the purchaser must perform maintenance and inspections as prescribed in the User’s Instructions which shall include prompt replacement or repair of defective parts, and replacement of parts per the maintenance schedule as prescribed in the User’s Instructions.
6. To validate this warranty, the Warranty & Registration Card supplied with the apparatus MUST be detached, completed, and returned to NORTH WITHIN 30 DAYS of purchase

THE OWNER ASSUMES ALL OTHER RISKS, IF ANY, SUCH AS THE RISK OF ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL LOSS OR DAMAGE ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF, OR INABILITY TO USE, THE PRODUCT. SERVICING NORTH RESPIRATORS WITH PARTS NOT APPROVED BY NORTH WILL VOID THIS WARRANTY AND NIOSH APPROVAL FOR THE RESPIRATOR UNIT. THIS WARRANTY IS MADE IN LIEU OF THE WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED AND MAY NOT BE VARIED OR EXTENDED EXCEPT IN WRITING BY AN AUTHORIZED OFFICIAL OF NORTH.


Q: How do I contact North if I have a problem?
A: You can contact North directly at 800.430.4110, or contact an authorized North Service Center. List of authorized North Service Centers.:


Q: What is North’s obligation if my North Frontier™ SCBA or a component is damaged and it is covered by the warranty?
A. We will either 1) repair or replace any defective part at our expense, or 2) refund the purchase price to you. North will choose which of the actions to take.


Q: What must I do if my North Frontier™ SCBA or a component is damaged?
Examine your SCBA upon receipt. Promptly notify us if any item is damaged or missing. We will not consider claims made more than thirty (30) calendar days after the date of purchase by the initial end user for missing items or anything damaged in shipment. If anything is missing or damaged during shipment contact North Customer Service at 1-800-430-4110.
• You must use and maintain the product in accordance with any written instructions provided. If your apparatus becomes damaged or malfunctions, whether or not it is covered by the North Warranty, contact any North Service Center authorized to repair North Frontier™ SCBA SCBA. List of authorized North Service Centers.


Authorized North Service Centers for North Frontier™ SCBA

ISI 922
Hurricane Shoals Road
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Phone: (770) 962-2552


SCBA, General Questions

Q: What is an SCBA?
A: SCBA are initials for Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus. It is a pressure demand air supply respirator for which the breathing air source is designed to be carried by the user.


Q: What is a pressure demand respirator?
A: It is any respirator that maintains a static or a dynamic pressure inside the facepiece, which is greater than the atmospheric pressure outside the facepiece. Air is supplied to the facepiece only when the pressure inside the facepiece falls to a predetermined level. A user’s breathing rate would determine how quickly this would occur. If a user breathes heavily, such as when running up a flight of stairs, the air is supplied at a faster rate. It the user is at rest, less air is supplied. In other words the air is provided “On Demand” as the user needs it.


Q: What is the Protection Factor of an SCBA?
A: The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Assigned Protection Factor (APF) is 10,000.


Q: How long will the air in my cylinder last?
A: The service life of a cylinder is “rated”, timed under optimum conditions, and is not a guaranteed absolute. The length of time your cylinder provides air, (the service life), depends on several factors most especially your exertion rate. If you are breathing at a very fast rate (working hard and under a lot of stress) your air will be consumed very quickly. Frequent use of the by-pass valve will also dramatically diminish service life.

It is safe to assume that your cylinder will provide less than the full duration of rated service life. How much or little will depend on your specific usage.


Q: When does the low air alarm sound?
A: As part of the NIOSH requirement, the low air alarm will start to whistle when the tank is approximately ¼ full. You can not assume that you now have 12½ minutes (or 15 minutes with 60 minute cylinders) to get out. Remember that cylinders are rated durations, not absolute guarantees.


Q: What is a “First Breath” donning feature?
A: First Breath is a feature that allows the user to stop the flow of air while donning and removing the SCBA. Air will start to be delivered to the user when there is a negative pressure inside the facepiece - when the “first breath” is taken by the user.


Q: What is the By-Pass Valve?
A: The By-Pass valve is a red dial located on the demand valve. Turning it on allows air to flow into the facepiece at a continuous rate as opposed to the normal on demand mode. The North Frontier™ SCBA By-Pass is adjustable, allowing the user to control the amount of air flowing into the facepiece.
 

Q: When would I use the By-Pass?
A: There are a few times you may need to use the By-Pass. But use it sparingly. Every time you use air in the continuous mode you reduce the cylinder’s available air.

If the demand valve fails. In this emergency situation turn on the By-Pass just enough to provide a comfortable flow of air and immediately exit the contaminated area.
To cool you: If you are working extremely hard you may desire a short burst of air to help you catch your breath and provide a cooling effect. Note: It is very unlikely that you can over breathe your SCBA so it is not needed to maintain positive pressure.
Defogging your lens: A short burst of air can help to defog the inside of your lens if it should fog up. Note: Continued use of the By-Pass can have the opposite effect since the fast release of air actually starts to cool the inside of the mask, which when contrasted to the warmer air outside the mask, can cause fogging.
Clear the facepiece if it has been dislodged or the seal was broken for any reason. While the positive pressure will prevent contaminants from entering the facepiece if the seal is broken, you may wish to “purge” air inside the facepiece as an extra precaution in this eventuality.


Q: What is the flow rate of the North Frontier™ SCBA By-Pass?
A: Because the By-Pass is adjustable, flow rates will vary, but averages between 95 and 100 lpm, with a minimum of 85 lpm and a maximum of 130 lpm.


Q: How long will the cylinder’s air last if I use the By-Pass?
A: The service duration of your SCBA’s cylinder will be dramatically reduced if the By-Pass is used frequently or left on continuously, such as during an emergency. If you use the By-Pass as an emergency backup, (i.e. the demand valve failed) immediately exit the contaminated area.

Fully open and used continuously the By-Pass will empty:
• A completely full 30 minute cylinder in 12 minutes
• A completely full 60 minute cylinder in 22 minutes


Q: Why would I want an airline quick connect on my SCBA?
A: An airline quick connect allows you to connect your SCBA to a remote source of air, such as a cascade system. In doing this you now have a Pressure Demand Airline Respirator (PDAR) with either a 30 minute or 60 minute of escape bottle (the cylinder on your back).
 

Q: What is a Buddy Breather?
A: A Buddy Breather, or Emergency Airline System (EAS), allows a second person (your buddy) to connect to your SCBA if his should fail or run out of air. This is only used in an emergency to escape an Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) environment. SCBAs with EAS are approved by NIOSH, but because the time duration is cut in half, it voids the NIOSH approval while in use.

 

 
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