A gas mask, also known as an air purifying respirator, filters chemical gases
and particles from the air. If used properly, a gas mask can help protect you
from the effects of breathing air that has been contaminated with gas, vapor, or
particles. Make sure you have the proper filters for your gas mask and that the
mask is tightly adjusted to fit your face. You can keep your gas mask ready for
disasters by storing it properly and making sure your filters are up to date.
Using a Gas Mask
Shave or wax your facial hair. A gas mask needs to fight tightly on your
face. Facial hair like a beard, sideburns, or a moustache can prevent the
mask from sealing properly. Make sure you shave or wax any facial hair
before testing or wearing a gas mask to ensure the gas mask seals correctly.
Remove jewelry and headwear. Jewelry like earrings and headwear like a
hat or scarf can prevent the gas mask from sealing properly. Before putting
on a gas mask, take off any jewelry or headwear that might get in the way of
Attach the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions. There
are many different types of gas masks. How and when to secure the mask’s
filter differs by manufacturer. Call or email the manufacturer and ask them
about the proper way to attach the filter and when you should do it.
Use straps to secure the gas mask over your face. The face piece of a
gas mask is secured to the wearer’s head with straps. Place the mask over
your face. Adjust the straps until the gas mask is fitted firmly over your
face. Straps can have a different modifications, but most (if not all) of
them are easy to adjust.
Breathe as you normally would.
A gas mask protects you from contaminants
by filtering out chemicals and other dangerous agents. Once you have the gas
mask on, breathe normally. The contaminants will be removed from the air as
it passes through the filter.
Keep the mask on even if you can’t talk through it. You might not be
able to talk while wearing the mask. Some gas masks will have speaking
capabilities, allowing you to talk while wearing the device. Other gas masks
prevent you from talking while you wear the mask. Check with the
manufacturer if you have questions about your gas mask’s speaking
Buying and Testing a Gas Mask
Choose the right type of gas mask. A gas mask can protect you from
various contaminants in the atmosphere, depending on the type of
contaminant. Some gas masks protect against biological substances, while
other will protect you from chemical substances. Nowadays some manufacturers
offering a multi-purpose filters. Purchase a gas mask that has been
approved by a reputable agency to protect against specific hazards.
Buy the appropriate filters. A gas mask is only effective if the proper
filter is used. You may need a different filter for each type of threat you
might face, however, some manufacturers offering a multi-purpose filters.
Test the gas mask.
In order to make sure the gas mask is working
properly, you will need to test it. If you received your gas mask from your
employer or other organization, they should run a test with you to ensure
the mask works. If you purchased your gas mask as an individual, contact the
manufacturer about how to test your gas mask at home.
- Since every mask is different, you will need to make sure you consult
your employer or the mask’s manufacturer to determine exactly how to
Keeping your Gas Mask ready for disasters
Store the mask according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
important that a gas mask is stored properly. Consult the manufacturer of
your gas mask and ask how the mask should be stored. Try to store the mask
in a sealed box. Place the sealed box in a cool, dry, dark place like a
Keep your filters up to date. Check the expiration dates on your filters
regularly. If a filter has expired, dispose of it according to
manufacturer’s instructions. You should also make sure you are up to date
with the types of filters you might need, depending on the potential threats
in your area
Inspect the mask regularly. You should inspect your gas mask once a
month to make sure the materials have not degraded. Check the seals on the
gas mask and look for cracks or signs of wear. If you notice any cracks in
the gas mask materials, you should have it inspected by a professional
before depending on it during a disaster.