Fire is one of the major hazards in many industries. Fire can be caught by any means and to control it, firefighters play a major role. Protective clothing for firefighting is one of the important equipment for the personal safety of firefighters. Firefighting clothing is mainly divided into two types including the integrated and two-piece type.
Even after having different wearing methods, all protective clothing for firefighting must have great performances. It should have a closure system, heat resistance, tensile strength, flame spread limitation, resistance to penetration by liquid chemicals, etc.
Let’s discuss some primary performance requirements for protective firefighting clothing.
The material of firefighting clothing should be manufactured by keeping the safety standards in mind. The outer garment and the surface of the innermost lining materials should achieve flame spread index 3. When exposed to flame, protective clothing should limit flame spread otherwise firefighter can be in danger and can be exposed to fire.
The materials used in protective clothing for firefighting shall not melt. The parts in garments like zippers shall remain functional when exposed to an atmosphere having a temperature of 180 5 degrees Celsius.
The outer materials of fire protection clothes shall bear a breaking load more than 450N and main seams shall have a maximum force to seam rupture more than 225N.
Anti-Wicking Barrier and Moisture Barrier
These barriers are very important in firefighting protective clothing. It is used to prevent liquid transferring from outside to inside the garment. It also provides the properties of hydrostatic pressure resistance and water vapor resistance.
Resistance to Penetration By Liquid Chemicals
Apart from fire, firefighters also face other dangers like chemicals. In these circumstances, protective clothing should be equipped with those properties so they can provide complete safety. There should be no penetration to the innermost surface of the firefighting clothing.
In every firefighting clothing, at least one band of visibility like retroreflective/fluorescent material should be attached. The minimum area od separate retroreflective material attached to the outer surface should be no less than 0.13 m2.
The dimensional change of woven materials should be no more than 3% and that of non-woven materials should be no more than 5%.
The metal used in the protective clothing should not be exposed on the innermost surface and should not have sharp edges, roughness or projections.
To achieve complete safety, closure system, fast openings of clothing also plays a significant role in protection.
These are the requirements of protective firefighting clothing. Firefighters are the ones who prevent us from fire and their safety should be one of the most important aspects so as they can keep others safe from fire. Apart from protective firefighting clothing for firefighters, there are other firefighting clothing and accessories like firefighting blanket, etc. The other clothing should also be made of the same safety standards that are followed for protective firefighting clothing for firefighters.
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