The Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) is an independent, non-profit certification body that certifies safety and protective equipment used to protect industrial workers, emergency responders & fire service personnel, and general consumers. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has accredited SEI to ISO Guide 65, an internationally recognized standard used to accredit product certification bodies.
SEI’s label to many is considered the “seal of approval” for worker protection.
Among thousands of safety and protective products, SEI certifies all of the currently certified NFPA 1981 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) used in the fire and emergency services area and has also certified the only smoke hood escape device to the relatively new standard, ANSI/ISEA 110-2003, American National Standard for AirPurifying Respiratory Protective Smoke Escape Devices.
The ANSI/ISEA 110-2003 standard was developed following a multi-year effort under the ANSI standards development process. The standard was based on a similar standard used in Europe, EN 403. Input was also used from similar standards in Australia and Japan. The ANSI standard went further in the process by providing exacting test methods which could be used for testing and certification purposes. The only product currently certified by SEI to this standard is the iEvac™ Fire Escape, Model Number EBP-180 manufactured by Elmridge Protection Products of Boynton Beach, FL.
The ANSI/ISEA 110 standard establishes requirements for the design, performance, testing and certification of air purifying respiratory protective smoke devices for the immediate emergency evacuation without entry/reentry of adult civilians.
The purpose of the standard is to provide minimum requirements for respiratory protective escape devices that provide limited protection for adult civilian escape from the byproducts of fire, including particulate matter, carbon monoxide, other toxic gases, and the effects of radiant heat.
Performance testing in ANSI/ISEA 110 includes requirements for carbon dioxide inhalation, donning time, resistance to breathing, filtration of particulates, inward leakage testing, light transmission, field of vision, water leakage, gas breakthrough, inhalation air temperature, breathing resistance to soot particulates, heat and flame resistance, resistance to molten polymeric drips, resistance to radiant heat and corrosion resistance.
To claim certification to the ANSI/ISEA 110, manufacturers must undergo a rigorous process that includes annual certification testing at an independent laboratory and complying with annual quality audits, including ISO 9001 registration.
How the SEI certification program operates
There are two main aspects to the SEI Certification Program: 1) annual testing of products to the applicable performance standard, ANSI/ISEA 110-2003, and 2) annual quality assurance audits of the manufacturing facilities. Once a product has passed performance testing, the manufacturing facility has passed the quality audit requirements, and all additional SEI requirements have been met, the manufacturer may use the SEI logo and claim certification.
When a manufacturer enters the SEI program, quality assurance audits of their manufacturing facility are conducted every six months by SEI. After three successful audits, the manufacturer may be recommended for an annual audit schedule. SEI’s quality assurance requirements include internal testing of lots by the manufacturer as well as a recall policy to insure the protection of the user in case of a breakdown somewhere in the quality system. We want to confirm that each product coming off the assembly line is made to the exact specifications as the samples sent in for testing. The quality assurance component is what sets certification apart from a simple test report conducted on one product. Companies who choose to certify their products through SEI have met SEI’s stringent requirements to ensure the consistency and quality of their product for their customers.
For further information on SEI certified products, you may visit the SEI web site at www.SEInet.org.