Taking care of your gear

Storage


Adequate storage of your Protective Garment can help increase its useful life, as well as its performance in the field. The storage area that you use should be dry and well ventilated. Your Protective Garment must not be stored in the quarters where you live, eat, sleep or perform other activities (including washing out) or in vehicle storage components as those environments could contaminate your Protective Garment. It should be hung neatly and protected from sharp objects; UV rays sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Cleaning and decontamination


Contamination of your Protective Garment must be brought to the attention of your fire department and/or employer and documented. We recommend that you clean your Protective Garment every 6 months and within 6 hours after contamination. There are local, State and Federal laws and regulations for decontaminating your Protective Garment and it is important that you abide by these.

  • Never use a soiled or contaminated Protective Garment as its protective qualities are reduced when it is not properly cleaned.
  • If possible, flush your protective equipment with water at the scene after the operations are completed. This will remove some of the contaminants and prevent spreading them.
  • Protective Garments are to be cleaned separately from other garments. Remove the detachable liner, suspenders or any other accessories from the outer shell and always launder separately. All closures have to be fastened. Make sure nylon male hook is covering female loop, hooks and dees are fastened, zippers zipped and snaps closed. A mild liquid detergent or a mild precleaner can be used directly on soiled areas. A soft bristle brush, may be used to gently scrub deeply soiled areas.
  • Follow general good cleaning practices. Set washer on a normal wash cycle and wash garment in warm water. Remember that too much heat causes garments to shrink. Therefore we recommend that the washing water temperature does not exceed 105°F (40°C). Heavy scrubbing or spraying with high velocity water jets, such as a power washer, shall not be used.
  • The best way to dry your garment is by hanging in a shaded area with good ventilation. Do not hang your garment in direct sunlight as it may significantly degrade any outer shell material. Tumble drying at a low or cool temperature setting is also acceptable.
  • A Protective Garment that has come into contact with hazardous substances (including biological, chemical or radiological ones) must be retired from service and decontaminated. A contaminated Protective Garment must be isolated and the contaminant should be identified.

Repairs


As with any product, proper repair and maintenance of your Protective Garment by adequately trained personnel, with the appropriate tools and equipment can help ensure the performance of your Protective Garment in the field. Any visible damage to stitches, reflective bands or loss of suppleness must be assessed by such personnel to ensure the integrity and performance of the Protective Garment is not compromised or reduced. We can recommend trained and certified repair facilities for your need upon request and also offer a CLEANING AND REPAIR SERVICE called INNO1851.


Sources

  • National Fire Protection Association. 1999. NFPA 1851 Standard on Selection, Care, And Maintenance of Structural Fire Fighting Protective.
  • Southern Area Fire Equipment Research (Safer). 1994. PPE Care And Use Guidelines.