Benefits of quick connect cylinders on self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs)

Quick connect cylinders can help make self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) cylinder replacement much easier. 3M Scott Fire & Safety developed and patented quick connect cylinders over fifteen years ago, called Snap-Change cylinders. Firefighters have come to rely on their proven design and ease-of-use because they present many significant advantages over other cylinders that use threaded (CGA) connections. 

Read more to learn about the top six advantages of the Scott Safety Snap-Change cylinder design:

1) Rapid cylinder replacement

Unlike a traditional CGA connection which utilizes a threaded hand coupling, the Snap-Change cylinder connection uses a unique quick-connect fitting. The advantage of this connection is that it supports rapid cylinder replacement while on the job by helping eliminate the need to unthread and rethread the CGA hand coupling. Being able to change your cylinder so quickly while on the job allows you to focus on more important things at hand.

2) Potential snag hazards are eliminated

The Snap-Change design helps eliminate the high pressure hose that is commonly found on SCBAs that utilize a CGA fitting.  Eliminating the hose also eliminates the potential for the hose to snag on something while on the job.

3) Easy-to-use design

The Snap-Change cylinder is engaged very simply by pushing the snout of the cylinder valve into the inlet body of the pressure reducer on the SCBA frame until both latch assemblies lock. This simple design helps provide a secure and reliable connection that the user can trust.  Cylinder removal is also made easy by pulling a pair of latch assemblies. For additional safety, the latch assemblies must be pulled simultaneously and cannot be pulled when the SCBA has been pressurized. 

4) Adapter-free

The Snap-Change cylinder connection uses a unique fitting that has been integrated into the valve body of the cylinder. Unlike other systems, an adapter is not necessary when connecting the cylinder to the SCBA pressure reducer. This eliminates worry about properly torqueing an adapter prior to use, or losing a critical part that is necessary for maintaining operational readiness on the fireground.

5) Easy cylinder charging

Cylinder charging is easy when using an 3M™ Scott ™ Air-Pak SCBA with Snap-Change cylinder connection compared to the typical threaded connection.

While the cylinder valve assembly is equipped with a CGA 347 fitting, it does not operate like a traditional CGA connection. Instead, this fitting has a one-way check valve that only allows air to enter through the connection for the purpose of charging the cylinder. The advantage of the Snap-Change cylinder connection is that it eliminates the need to open the cylinder valve handwheel prior to charging and then close the handwheel after charging. This saves time and effort.  Less time required for charging cylinders results in more available time to complete other tasks around the fire station or on the fireground. 

6) Reduced wear and tear

Traditional cylinders with a CGA connection require the operator to open the cylinder valve handwheel prior to charging the cylinder and then close the handwheel once charging is complete. By eliminating the need to open/close the cylinder valve handwheel during the cylinder charging process, the Snap-Change cylinder connection reduces the wear and tear on the internal valve seat, thus minimizing service issues and extending the overall life expectancy of the components. Simply put, a reduction in wear and tear equates to a lower total cost of ownership for the fire department.

If you have questions about the benefits of the 3M Scott Safety Snap-Change cylinder compared to a typical CGA connection, please use the form to reach out to us below.

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