Personal Protective Clothing and Equipment (PPC/E) is designed to keep the wearer safe from injury and alive but it also has its limits. Knowing the limits of your PPC/E is important, to preserve its working life. Further knowing about your equipment ensures, that the correct PPC/E is worn for the hazards faced. Numerous options of firefighting PPC/E are available, however not all of these offerings necessarily meet the requirements. CHARNAUD® manufactures and supplies an extensive range of PPC/E, including wildland firefighting gear, which meets international safety specifications.

What Hazards do Wildland Firefighters Face?

All PPE/C has a lifespan which is affected by several factors, including its aftercare. Wildland firefighters are exposed to numerous hazards including falling objects, airborne debris, smoke inhalation, hazardous chemicals and contamination from volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). PPE/C is their first and last defence against these hazards, so it is crucially important that their safety gear is in good condition and fit for use.

When is the Right Time to Replace your PPE?

It may be difficult for a wearer to know when and if their safety gear needs to be repaired or replaced. NFPA 1851 (Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting) stipulates that personal protective equipment and clothing for structural and proximity firefighting cannot be used for longer than 10 years from date of manufacture. This is a useful guideline; however it does not empower the wearer to know if their PPE may need to be replaced sooner. There are a number of factors that can shorten the lifespan of a protective garment, so it is wise to know what to consider when assessing the condition of safety gear. Some of these considerations include:

  • Garment maintenance and whether the user or wearer has cared for and maintained the garment according to the manufacturer’s guidelines;
  • How often the garment is washed/laundered and if the recommended laundering guidelines are being followed, and;
  • How often the garment is worn over a period of specified time and what conditions the garment is exposed to.

For Quality You Can Trust- Contact CHARNAUD®

Wildland PPE/C is designed to function in harsh conditions; however it is not limitless. Constant exposure to the elements, extreme temperatures, UV radiation and other hazards, such as VOC’s and hazardous chemicals can and will degrade a garment over time, especially if the garment is not properly maintained and laundered. Proper safety gear maintenance and aftercare will help to prolong its lifespan.

Most PPE manufacturers and suppliers, like CHARNAUD®, will provide garment care guidelines to their customers. Contact CHARNAUD® today to learn more about getting the most out of your PPE.

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