When is OK to take off your SCBA after a structure fire?

Once the fire is out right? Well, maybe…

If you think about all the plastics, metals, and liquid chemicals  that are in our homes and commercial and industrial buildings, there are all sorts of gases and vapors that could be floating around in the air after a fire.

Many of these are potentially harmful or carcinogenic.  Some of these could lead to the possibility of a on duty injury or worse.

Typically, a fire department will use a four gas meter and in some cases a PID to measure for certain gases. Some think that is enough. Others, not so much.

I had a meeting recently with some HAZMAT teams to discuss quantifying known gases and vapors and identifying unknowns. Our discussion lead to being able to identify some of these harmful vapors that departments encounter on a day to day basis.

Here’s a look at the technology we were exploring to do just that:


How are you checking for gases and vapors after a fire?

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