Global safety equipment manufacturer MSA Safety Incorporated today announced that it has received notification from the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) that the company’s FireHawk® M7XT Air Mask, which provides firefighters with respiratory protection in hazardous or life-threatening environments, has been certified as compliant to the 2013 Edition of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 1981 performance standard for Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA). The company expects to begin shipment of this product in the second quarter.
Concurrent with this news, MSA also said it has received notification from the NFPA that the organization has issued a second tentative interim amendment (TIA) that extends the effective shipping date for SCBA models that meet the older 2007 edition of the NFPA standard. Up until now, MSA has been unable to ship its FireHawk® M7 Air Mask following the expiration of an initial TIA on February 28. However, the company has now resumed shipments of its FireHawk M7 SCBA and will continue to do so until June 30, 2014, in keeping with the most recent TIA.
"The news regarding NFPA certification for our FireHawk M7XT Air Mask, as well as the TIA extension, means fire departments now have two great options from MSA when choosing SCBA," said Nish Vartanian, President of MSA North America.
"Further, with approval of our groundbreaking G1 SCBA expected in the second half of 2014, we will soon be adding another option to the mix, providing fire departments with a broad new range of SCBA choices. The long-term impact of all this is that we are positioning ourselves to capitalize on what we anticipate to be a strong SCBA replacement cycle in 2015 and beyond," he said.
MSA introduced the first NFPA-compliant SCBA in 1986, the first year the NFPA established performance requirements for breathing apparatus. Over the past three decades, MSA has continued to advance SCBA technology in keeping with changing NFPA standards. The company pioneered the first emergency escape "buddy-breathing" system approved for use and, more recently, developed an innovative "rescue-belt" SCBA accessory that allows firefighters to repel down the side of a burning structure in an emergency situation, borrowing from MSA fall protection technology developed for the construction market.