Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)

How to inspect SCBA and keep it in good working order using a SCBA inspection checklist

Bombero con ERA|Lista de comprobación de la inspección del ERA

What is SCBA?

Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) is used in areas or situations where breathable air is limited. Sometimes called CABA or Compressed Air Breathing Apparatus, SCBA is also used when there’s a need to protect the SCBA user from health and safety risks present in the air.

What is the Purpose of SCBA Inspection?

Performing regular SCBA inspection is important to making sure that each deployed apparatus will function properly when needed. Since SCBAs are normally utilized in emergencies and industrial-use, verifying ahead of time that they can indeed serve their primary purpose prevents further disruption in operations and save time.

What is an SCBA Inspection Checklist?

An SCBA inspection checklist is a comprehensive document that lists items that should be checked and tested on SCBA before they are put into use. Utilizing inspection checklists help ensure that SCBAs are in a safe working condition and addressed should there be any issues found.

The items that are typically checked on an SCBA checklist include air cylinder and valve, air regulator, hoses and connectors, harness and belt, breathing air quality, and alarm.

What is Included in an SCBA Inspection Checklist?

When conducting an SCBA inspection, the technician should be able to use an SCBA inspection checklist to verify that the unit is assembled correctly, all components are present, and all items are functioning properly. They should check the seal of the SCBA facepiece against the facial area of the user. After, the pressure gauge, alarm, and breathing circuit is reviewed to ensure they are working appropriately. 

After that, microphones and ear defenders are also be tested for proper function. Finally, the technician should check the weight of the SCBA and the length of the air supply hoses to ensure they are of the right dimensions.


SCBA is commonly used by firefighters when responding to fires. It is also used by personnel who work in oil rigs or by workers in industries such as mining and shipping where the work may involve areas with low levels of oxygen or where there’s a presence of dust, fumes, or other harmful substances in the air. A lot of other industries or situations require the use of SCBA whenever safe breathable air is compromised.

Considering the importance of SCBA for helping keep workers safe in their workplace, inspecting SCBA involves checking almost all the components to ensure its good working condition. Using a SCBA inspection checklist can be helpful to ensure that no part is missed and that the SCBA inspection is done thoroughly.

SCBA should be checked before each use, during cleaning, and, per OSHA regulations, should be checked at least once a month. The cylinders, a type of pressure vessel used with the SCBA, should also be tested every three to five years depending on the material.

SCBA cylinders are good for 15 years provided that they are properly maintained. After 15 years, SCBA cylinders should be disposed of and destroyed to prevent reuse.

SafetyCulture Content Team
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SafetyCulture Content Team
The SafetyCulture content team is dedicated to providing high-quality, easy-to-understand information to help readers understand complex topics and improve workplace safety and quality. Our team of writers have extensive experience at producing articles for different fields such as safety, quality, health, and compliance.

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Breathing Apparatus (BA) Self Contained Logbook Checklist
This SCBA inspection checklist can be downloaded and customized for free to ensure that the SCBA checklist you will have is appropriate for the model of SCBA you are using.