What is regulations for testing of SCBA bottles as per SOLAS ? |

What is regulations for testing of SCBA bottles as per SOLAS ?


  • All cylinders should be externally examined annually by a competent person.
  • The competent person may be either a member of the ship’s crew who is trained and assigned to carry out this work or an accredited service agent.


  • The maximum interval between hydraulic tests for solid drawn steel cylinders is 5 years. Composite cylinders may require more frequent testing – stipulated by manufacturers instructions.
  • Hydraulic testing must be carried out by an accredited service agent or test facility.
  • Following the hydraulic test, a thorough inspection and internal examination must be carried out prior to recharging.
  • Test pressure and test date must be stamped clearly on each steel cylinder.
  • Composite cylinders will require a permanent marking or tag.
  • Test certificates must be provided and retained on board for inspection.

Annual Examination

  • All SCBAs shall be examined at least annually as part of the annual statutory survey for
  • The Safety Equipment Certificate (SEC) or MODU Code certificate. If applicable, the
  • Breathing apparatus air recharging systems should be checked for air quality as part of the
  • Annual statutory survey for the SEC or MODU Code certificate.

 Hydrostatic Testing of Self-contained Breathing Apparatus Cylinders.

  • Hydrostatic testing of SCBA cylinders shall be carried out once every five years. The
  • Hydrostatic test date must be permanently marked on the bottles. Intervals for
  • Hydrostatically testing cylinders of the ultra lightweight type may vary and will depend
  • Upon the requirements of the cylinder manufacturer and the vessel’s classification society. Servicing of the cylinders must be performed to the satisfaction of the classification society surveyor.

Spare Charges and Recharging of Breathing Apparatus Air Cylinders.

  • Two spare charges suitable for use with the breathing apparatus should be provided for each required apparatus.
  • If passenger ships carrying not more than 36 passengers and cargo ships are
  • Equipped with suitably located means for fully recharging the air cylinders free from contamination, only one spare charge is required for each required apparatus.

You may also know about CO2 :


  • Annually the cylinders should be subject to a contents or level check by a competent person. The competent person may be either a member of the
  • Ship’s crew who is trained and assigned to carry out the task or an accredited service agent.
  • At least once every 2 years the cylinders should be subject to an inspection by an accredited service agent1, this inspection should be conducted in conjunction with the service for the entire system and will include:
  1. Visual inspection of each cylinder, fittings and securing arrangements.
  2. Accurate determination of the contents and comparison with original readings e.g. liquid level gauging, test weighing etc.
  • Any cylinders showing signs of mechanical damage, excessive corrosion, or loss of contents exceeding 10% of installed quantity for CO2 or 5% for Halon should be withdrawn from service and sent ashore for full periodic service and inspection. If more than 10 years have elapsed since initial pressure test at manufacture, they will require to be hydraulically tested before refilling.


The hydraulic pressure test period for these high-pressure cylinders is as follows:

  • First pressure test within 20 years of initial pressure test at manufacture, provided annual tests have been carried out with satisfactory results.
  • Subsequent pressure tests every 5 years


Testing for High-Pressure Halogenated Hydrocarbon (Halon) systems

  • The Administration strongly advises owners to consider replacing their existing Halon systems before the hydrostatic test of the cylinders is due. However, where problems arise the following may be considered for which special application must be made on a ship-by-ship basis:

Due to the environmental implications of emptying, testing and recharging of these cylinders and the reduced risk of internal corrosion due to the absorption of moisture by the Nitrogen pressurization gas.


Leave a Comment