Let us consider a situation where your gas alarm has gone off. Once that goes off, we will need some means to get out quite quickly, and what we expect is to have an emergency escape set available for us. Now, this set is designed to give constant pressure, which is about 10 minutes worth of air. As you deploy it, you can hear it going off. You remove the hood from inside, and you put the hood straight onto your head. Now, why we have the hooded type, which is now becoming the most popular, is you don’t need to be clean shaven and you can still wear glasses.
The opposite type of emergency escape set is known as the face mask type. You must be clean-shaven. You cannot wear glasses because the actual mask fits tightly to your face. Again, these will give 10 minutes worth of air. The only benefit with the face mask type is what is called a long demand valve. We can actually breathe slower and actually make it last just a little bit longer. So many industries actually prefer this, compared to the hooded type. We might need an extended set, some that last for 15 minutes, normally used by water authorities as they go into large sewer systems, large tunnels.
When we get to a 20-minute escape set, that is normally used for a particular task where we need that extra duration. But if we were to hire or we own an emergency escape set, then there are certain checks we need to do. First of all, check the gauge. Make sure the gauge is in the middle, in the green. As you remove the handle, there will be a clip. You must unclip it. Once I have unclipped it, I will then extract the cylinder and check its condition. The cylinder must be within the five-year testing that is in place for all cylinders. I will then check the hose, pass it through my hands and ensure there is no damage. I will check the hood or the mask again to ensure there is no damage. I might give the cover a nice, clean inside to make sure there is no debris. And then I will need to refit it accordingly, making sure the last thing I do is reconnect the pin so it is ready to go.
More information can be found in our confined spaces course.