Escape Gas Mask

By Tabitha Mishra
Last updated: January 11, 2022

What Does Escape Gas Mask Mean?

Escape gas masks are respirators that protect the wearer from inhaling toxic gases or hazardous particles in the environment. They are designed to be used in emergency situations.

They are also known as escape respirators or emergency escape breathing devices.

Safeopedia Explains Escape Gas Mask

Emergency gas masks are designed for use in a variety of critical situations. The emergency in question could be anything from a fire releasing toxic smoke or a chemical leak to a virus spreading from a biohazard lab or a chemical attack by terrorists. Regardless of the situation, the emergency gas mask allows the user to move to a safer location without inhaling any harmful substances.

Unlike many other respirators, these masks are designed for one-time use for a short span of time, typically 15 to 60 minutes.

Selectring the Right Escape Gas Mask

Selecting the most suitable escape gas mask involves three steps: identifying the risk, understanding the degree of severity, and identifying the correct respirator.

Identfying the Risk

There are three main types of industrial hazards that pose a respiratory risk:

  • Fire, especially when workers are exposed to accumulating smoke
  • The release of chemicals, vapors, or other toxins from a process vessel
  • Environmental volatility, such as in confined spaces where toxins can accumulate or oxygen deficiency can occur

Understanding the Severity of an Emergency Situation

NIOSH classifies the degree of severity according to the three following levels:

  • High: an unknown toxic substance in high or uncertain concentrations, or an atmosphere that may be oxygen deficient
  • Specific: a known toxic substances in high or unknown concentrations
  • Low: a known toxic substance in low concentrations

Respirator Types

Based on the risk assessment, the type of mask required is identified:

  • Air-purifying respirators (APR)
  • Self-contained Emergency Escape Breathing Apparatus (EEBA)
  • Self-contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA)
  • Pressure demand Supplied Air Respirator (SAR) with escape cylinder


emergency escape breathing device

escape respirator

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