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Why Fit Testing Matters for Firefighters

By Tim Jones June 08, 2019


Firefighters are tasked with entering smoke-filled rooms and landscapes in order to ensure the safety of others. With the recent wildfires taking place in California, we’ve seen countless wildland firefighters work to combat these destructive fires and keep them from spreading. Since firefighters have to work in hazardous atmospheres that expose them to harmful fumes and chemicals, the importance of them wearing quality respirator masks cannot be understated.

Fit testing services can be utilized to ensure the respirators being used by firefighters provide a tight seal and properly filter out toxic chemicals given off by burning furniture, electronics, and building materials. The two main types of fit testing are qualitative fit testing and quantitative fit testing. The former relies on the firefighter’s senses to determine whether or not a leak is present, while the latter uses a machine to accurately determine the amount of leakage taking place within the mask. Whatever type of fit testing you decide to use, you should know how important fit testing is for firefighters.

Fit Testing Ensures Safety

Whether they’re entering a burning home or working to contain wildfires, firefighters are exposed to a wide variety of toxins that can cause serious health issues over time. A proper respirator mask will allow firefighters to breathe in filtered air that is free of any harmful chemicals. When a respirator mask doesn’t fit a firefighter’s face properly, it runs the risk of allowing dangerous fumes to seep into their masks. In order for firefighters to avoid developing hazardous respiratory diseases down the road, proper fit testing for respirator masks is an absolute must.

Determine What Works Best

The environments that firefighters work in are dependent on where they are serving. Firefighters working in urban areas will likely be exposed to carcinogenic environments as a result of the engulfed building materials, furniture, and electronics. On the other hand, firefighters working in a rural location may be dealing with more grass and forest fires. In any case, fit testing should account for the type of fumes and chemicals the firefighters will be exposed to on a regular basis. The respirators you end up choosing should be fit to filter out toxins that the firefighters will be dealing with. Take time to browse your options when it comes to the best respirator masks in order to ensure the firefighters are properly protected.

Firefighter 2

Be Prepared for Anything

By opting for quality fit testing services, firefighters are guaranteed to have efficient, reliable respirator masks that will protect them in any environment. The point of fit testing is to ensure there is a tight seal between the firefighter’s face and the mask itself. Since firefighters are often required to move quickly, you should have them move about during fit testing to recreate realistic scenarios. A respirator mask that fits the firefighter’s face properly won’t slide around due to sudden jolts or movements. During fit testing, it’s important that the firefighters do their best to behave as they would on the job, as this will yield more positive fitting results.

If you’re in need of reliable fit testing, contact Professional Fit Testing Services! We provide quality fit testing services that ensure the utmost safety of firefighters.

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