When considering the purchase of new SCBA, it is important to understand the compliance implications of purchasing “refurbished” SCBA from an unauthorized supplier.

Several businesses in the United States and Canada advertise and sell SCBAs that are “refurbished” or “reconditioned” units of various SCBA manufacturers. OSHA regulations [29 CFR 1910.134(h)(4)] require that respirators utilized in a respiratory protection program must be repaired by a manufacturer trained repair person, using the manufacturer’s NIOSH-approved parts. Reducing valves, regulators, and alarms must be adjusted or repaired only by the manufacturer or a technician trained by the manufacturer. These requirements serve to ensure that any repaired products meet the performance levels, quality, and safety levels intended, and approved through in-depth regulatory testing.

Please be aware that “refurbished” or “reconditioned” SCBAs sold by companies not authorized by the SCBA’s manufacturer is likely to have undergone repair or adjustment not authorized by the manufacturer and they may contain unapproved parts. Repair of SCBAs or adjustment of key components by individuals who are not manufacturer-trained and certified on the latest repair procedures creates a safety concern. Use of parts other than the manufacturer’s original parts approved by NIOSH for repair of the SCBA invalidates the SCBA’s NIOSH certification, and therefore any NFPA certification as well. In addition, the use of an SCBA with unapproved parts or an SCBA that was repaired or adjusted by someone not trained by the manufacturer cause the user’s respiratory protection program to be non-compliant with OSHA regulations.

3M Scott Fire & Safety takes significant pride in the quality, durability, and performance of its products in the field. It is critical that all our products continue to perform as intended, and that is why we have taken the step of highlighting this potential safety and compliance issue. If you have any questions about whether a business is trained and authorized to repair the SCBAs of a specific manufacturer, please contact the manufacturer directly to inquire.

Download this letter from US Fire Marketing Manager, Jason Cannon, to share with your fire department administration.