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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 2. Safe Practices and Personal Protection
Article 10.1. Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment for Fire Fighters

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§3409. Respiratory Protection.

(a) Approved Equipment.
(1) Approvals. Fire fighters exposed to harmful exposure in the course of their assigned activities shall be provided with, and shall use respiratory protective devices that are approved and certified in accordance with Section 5144, and the methods and requirements specified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) under 42 CFR part 84.
(b) Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA).
(1) Respiratory protective devices provided for and used by fire fighters in structural fire fighting activity shall be limited to those types classified as self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), and combination breathing apparatus of the supplied-air positive-pressure type.
(2) SCBA shall be selected, cleaned, inspected, and maintained in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1852, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), 2019 Edition, which is hereby incorporated by reference.
(A) Effective1-1-2026, if available and in keeping with NIOSH approvals, the facepieces of SCBA shall be upgraded to facepieces that meet the Lens Radiant Heat Resistance Performance and Elevated Temperature Heat and Flame Resistance Performance requirements of NFPA 1981, Standard on Open-Circuit Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for Emergency Services, 2013 or 2019 Edition, which are hereby incorporated by reference.
(3) Closed-circuit SCBA shall not be used by fire fighters except where it has been demonstrated that long duration breathing apparatus is necessary. If such breathing devices are used, quantitative fit tests providing a minimum protection factor of 5,000 shall be performed on each individual using the long duration breathing apparatus. The quantitative fit test procedures shall be available for inspection by the Division.
(A) Close-circuit SCBA shall be NIOSH-certified with a minimum rated service life of at least 2 hours and shall operate in the positive-pressure mode only.
(c) General Requirements.
(1) Written Standard Procedures. The employer shall develop and implement comprehensive written standard operating procedures for the use, care, maintenance, and training relating to respiratory protective equipment in accordance with Section 5144.
(2) SCBA shall be worn during overhaul operations unless the employer can demonstrate that a lesser level of protection provides for employee safety.
(3) Operating Service Time. Respiratory protective devices provided for use by fire fighters shall have a rated service time of at least 30 minutes in accordance with the methods and requirements specified by NIOSH 42 CFR part 84.
Exception: Respiratory protective devices of less than 30 minutes rated service time shall only be used for escape, rescue and observation.
(4) Buddy-Breathing. Approved SCBA may be equipped with either a “buddy-breathing” device or a quick disconnect valve, even if these devices are not certified by NIOSH. If these accessories are used, they shall not cause damage to the apparatus, or obstruct the normal operation of the apparatus.
(5) Air Cylinders. NIOSH-approved open-circuit SCBA shall be used with the approved cylinder from the same manufacturer. Cylinders that are not labeled as being NIOSH-certified shall not be used.
Exception: During an emergency (mutual or automatic aid) situation, cylinders with the same pressure rating from different manufacturers may be used when cylinders from the same manufacturer are not immediately available on the scene.
(d) Positive Pressure. Except as permitted in Section 3409(b)(3), all compressed air SCBA used in fire fighting activity shall be of positive pressure type.


Note: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Sections 142.3 and 147.4, Labor Code.
1. Amendment of subsection (c)(2) filed 9-11-80; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 80, No. 37).
2. Amendment filed 4-29-85; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 85, No. 18).
3. Amendment of subsection (b)(1) filed 3-20-95; operative 4-19-95 (Register 95, No. 12).
4. Amendment of subsections (a)(1) and (b)(3) filed 8-25-98; operative 11-23-98 (Register 98, No. 35).
5. Change without regulatory effect amending subsection (b)(2) filed 12-30-99 pursuant to section 100, title 1, California Code of Regulations (Register 99, No. 53).
6. Amendment of section and Note filed 11-7-2022; operative 1-1-2023 (Register 2022, No. 45). Transmission deadline specified in Government Code section 11349.3(b) extended 60 calendar days pursuant to Executive Order N-40-20 and an additional 60 calendar days pursuant to Executive Order N-71-20. Filing deadline specified in Government Code section 11349.3(a) extended 60 calendar days pursuant to Executive Order N-40-20 and an additional 60 calendar days pursuant to Executive Order N-71-20.

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