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Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA)

Last updated: December 2, 2013

What Does Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA) Mean?

An emergency life support apparatus (ELSA) is a type of breathing apparatus used in an emergency situation to escape from a confined space or building following a fire, chemical accident or explosion. An ESLA is needed when breathable air is insufficient or highly contaminated.

Safeopedia Explains Emergency Life Support Apparatus (ELSA)

An emergency life support apparatus (ELSA) provides a constant flow of breathable air to the user for about 10 to 15 minutes. Generally, it consists of the following parts:

  • A small compressed air cylinder
  • A pressure release valve, pressure gauge and whistle attached to cylinder’s neck
  • A hood with visor and/or a mouthpiece connected to a pipe that supplies air from the cylinder
  • A carrying pouch with a waist belt or neck strap
All of these items are secured inside a pouch and kept in the passageways of buildings, oil and gas refineries, chemical areas, subways, tunnels, ships and other hazardous workplaces.


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