Firefighters have tough jobs. Not only do they have to suppress fires and rescue people, but they often must perform other types of rescues that don’t involve fire. Any rescue that a firefighter performs will require them to wear the correct PPE, including the correct footwear, according to the nature of the rescue. Footwear for firefighting has specific requirements and must be certified.

CHARNAUD® Share Everything You Need to Know About Firefighting Footwear

The CHARNAUD® FIRE-SAFE® range comprises head-to-foot® personal protective clothing and equipment developed specifically for firefighters and fully certified to meet international safety standards.

The Different Types of Firefighting Footwear

EN 15090:2012 defines the minimum requirements for protective footwear for firefighters. There are 3 types of footwear for firefighting which are used for general rescue, fire suppression, fire rescue and other emergencies or rescues where hazardous materials may be present. The boot type, either Type 1, 2 or 3, indicates the kinds of hazards the wearer is protected against.

Type1: Used for general rescue, fire suppression and fire suppression in a situation where there is forest, grass, crops and/or farmland. Type 1 does not protect against penetration or chemical hazards and has no toe protection.

Type 2:  Used for fire rescue and fire suppression, structural fires in enclosed structures, vehicle and vessel fires. Type 2 is suitable for any fire suppression or rescue where penetration protection and toe protection are required. Type 2 does not protect against chemical hazards.

Type 3: Used for situations where hazardous chemicals are present that are potentially dangerous to the environment, properties and people. Type 3 is suitable for fire rescue, fire suppression and conservation of buildings, enclosed structures, vehicles, vessels, aircraft and the like. Type 3 is suitable for all situations where penetration and toe protection is required, as well as protection against chemical hazards.

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2 Classifications for Firefighting Boots

Firefighting boots are classified according to the materials they are made of. There are 2 classes: Class I and Class II. Class I is made of leather and materials other than rubber or polymer. Class II is made entirely of rubber or polymer, or as a hybrid whereby the upper of the shoe is made of another material that is not rubber or polymer. Firefighting boots will be marked with additional symbols that denote specific properties, such as HI1, HI2 or HI3 which indicates the insulation capabilities of the footwear:

  • HI1 is insulated against heat of 150°C/30 minutes
  • HI2 in insulated against heat of 250°C/20 minutes
  • HI3 is insulated against heat for 250°C/40 minutes

Other important symbols include ‘CH’ (Chemical Resistance), ‘T’ (Internal Toe Cap up to 200-Joules for Type 1 boots), ‘A’ (Anti-static), ‘I’ (Electrically insulating), ‘P’ (Penetration Resistance), ‘AN’ (Ankle Protection) and ‘M’ (Metatarsal Protection). Slip, trip and fall resistance is indicated by letter markings, namely ‘SRA’, ‘SRB’ and ‘SRC’. The prefix ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ indicates the test condition under which the boot was tested as well as the type of surface and lubricant used in the test method.

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Safety footwear classifications empower the wearer to know that they are wearing a boot suited to the types of hazards they encounter. While the different types and classifications of firefighting boots may seem similar, not all of them can be used in any fire rescue, fire suppression or emergency. Understanding the hazards of the job enables a firefighter to select the correct boot, while understanding the ratings and classifications on the footwear gives the wearer peace of mind knowing that they are suitably protected.

If you’re unsure about what type of firefighting boot is the right one for your team, contact your CHARNAUD® representative who will use their knowledge and experience to guide you to the best choice.

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