June 4, 2019

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Air Monitoring Instruments

Gordon Graham
Category: Fire

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Today’s Tip is for fire.

Stay aware of potential hazards. Become familiar with your air monitoring instruments.

Today’s Tip is for my friends in the fire service and it deals with the importance of properly using air monitoring instruments. 

In your career, you will respond to many different types of emergencies. Some will involve odor investigations and carbon monoxide alarm activations. You arrive onscene and pull the air monitoring instrument off the apparatus. But do you know how to use it or do you remember what the numbers mean? 

Air monitorincan be complex. You should understand how the instrument works. You should be able to interpret the data and understand what it means. This is very important. If you make a mistake, you place people at risk. You. Your crew. And others in the area. 

Train with the instrument before you use it on a real call. Know how to properly survey the atmosphere. Be aware of operational considerations that may affect the data. Understand when you need conversion tables to make sense of the data. Then practice and practice.  

Don’t forget to warm the air monitor up if necessaryDon’t conduct a fresh air calibration where a contaminate is present in the air. Like near the exhaust pipe of the fire apparatus.  

When you’re surveying an area, use techniques that are appropriate for the monitor you’re using. Don’t survey the air faster than your instrument can process it.   

If you are a company officer, resist the temptation to give the air monitoring instrument to the newest firefighter you can find. It’s your responsibility to make sure that the person using the equipment knows what he or she is doing 

Stay aware of potential hazards. Become familiar with your instruments. Interpret the data carefully. I bet your last several odor investigation calls, or CO alarm calls turned out to be nothing. But that doesn’t mean you should cut corners on the next one. Remember. Complacency kills. 

And that’s Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off. 

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