1 The Maritime Safety Committee, at its sixty-ninth session (11 to 20 May 1998), noting that it had
approved, in principle, proposed draft amendments to SOLAS chapter II-2 to require the carriage of
emergency escape breathing devices (EEBDs) on all ships, for inclusion in future amendments to the 1974
SOLAS Convention, approved Guidelines for the performance, location, use and care of emergency escape
breathing devices (EEBDs), as set out in the annex.
2 Member Governments are invited, pending adoption by the MSC and entry into force of the
aforementioned proposed amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention, to bring the annexed Guidelines
to the attention of shipowners, shipmasters, ships' officers and crew and all other parties concerned.
1.1 These Guidelines provide information and guidance on the location, use, and care of emergency
escape breathing devices (EEBDs), to provide personnel breathing protection against a hazardous
2.1 An EEBD is a supplied-air or oxygen device only used for escape from a compartment that has a
hazardous atmosphere and should be of approved type.
2.2 EEBDs are not to be used for fighting fires, entering oxygen deficient voids or tanks, or worn by
fire-fighters. In these events, a self-contained breathing apparatus, which is specifically suited for such
situations should be used.
3.1 "Face piece" means a face covering that is designed to form a complete seal around the eyes, nose
and mouth which is secured in position by a suitable means.
3.2 "Hood" means a head covering which completely covers the head, neck, and may cover portions
of the shoulders.
3.3 "Hazardous atmosphere" means any atmosphere that is immediately dangerous to life or health.
4.1 The EEBD should have at least a duration of service of 10 min.
4.2 The EEBD should include a hood or full face piece, as appropriate, to protect the eyes, nose and
mouth during escape. Hoods and face pieces should be constructed of flame resistant materials, and
include a clear window for viewing.
4.3 An unactivated EEBD should be capable of being carried hands-free.
4.4 The EEBDs, when stored, should be suitably protected from the environment.
4.5 Brief instructions or diagrams clearly illustrating the use should be clearly printed on the EEBD.
The donning procedures should be quick and easy to allow for situations where there is little time to seek
safety from a hazardous atmosphere.
4.6 Unless personnel are individually carrying EEBDs, consideration should be given for placing such
devices along the escape routes within the machinery spaces or at the foot of each escape ladder within the
space. In addition, control spaces and workshops located within the machinery spaces should also be
considered for the possible location of such devices.
5.1 The EEBD should be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
5.2 Spare EEBDs should be kept on board.
5.3 Maintenance requirements, manufacturer's trademark and serial number, shelf life with
accompanying manufacture date and name of approving authority should be printed on each EEBD.
6.1 Training in the use of the EEBD should be considered as a part of basic safety training.
6.2 All EEBD training units should be clearly marked.
6.3 Personnel should be trained to immediately don an EEBD prior to exiting a space when the
atmosphere becomes life threatening. This is necessary due to the possibility of encountering smoke during
escape. Such training should be accomplished by scheduling routine escape drills for crew members
working in the engineering or machinery spaces.
6.4 An EEBD may also be used to escape from a machinery space due to an accidental release of a
fixed CO system and can be carried by fire-fighters for the sole purpose of providing the device to 2
personnel in need of emergency assistance.