Well we used to be allowed beards, goatees, and all sorts of different facial hair. But with NFPA standards and SOPs the rules have changed requiring any and all facial hair being limited to just above the lip edges(meaning only a mustache that doesn't go passed the edge of where your upper lip meets the lower lip.) This was done because apparently(which I and many others believe to be complete B.S.) the hair gets in the way of the mask properly sealing for your SCBA. For those of you who noticed, sometime when you're fighting a fire for instance inside a structure it gets really hot. With your mask on you tend to sweat, maybe your eyes tear up, and somtimes snot drips from your nose. Well who really wants to taste this combination of bodily fluids? Not me! So the facial hair acted as a filter and caught those fluids from leaking into your mouth.
Just my 2 cents.
-Lt. Logue TCSS
My guess based on history. The earliest BAs were beards. Get a beard a little wet and it would, back in the old days, filter out some of the larger particulates. Of course, it would do nothing for CO gasses. As BAs became better, the service realized that beards interfered with the seals. FF just kept the stach.
I use cover up because I have two red spots on my face that are from a surgery. I also use it to cover the bags under my eyes because I work 12 hour midnight shifts. I also do it for my own self confidence, not to impress anyone else. I don't really see the correlation.
By the way, I have no problems with mustaches. I don't think this is attack against the mustaches. I think we're just curious as to why it seems like they are common among firemen. I thought for a while that it was a natural filter for smoke under your nose. That's just my own personal justification though.
uh yes i have a mustache tattooed on my finger and when i get fresh and feel like laughing mysteriously, i place my finger upon my upper lip and show my EVIL MUSTACHE TO THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!