As a firefighter, your turnout gear is essential for protecting you from the hazards of firefighting. Not only does it provide you with physical protection, but it also helps to maintain your hygiene and overall health. But, with regular exposure to hazardous materials, smoke, and grime, it’s important to keep your gear clean. In this blog, we’ll discuss the top 10 things a firefighter can do to keep their turnout gear clean and in good condition.
1. Regular washing – The most important step in maintaining your gear’s cleanliness is to wash it regularly. Firefighters should wash their gear after every firefighting operation to remove any hazardous materials and reduce the risk of skin irritation and other health problems.
2. Use a specialized cleaner – Firefighters should use a specialized cleaning detergent designed for turnout gear. These cleaners are specially formulated to remove soot, smoke, and other hazardous materials from the gear. Avoid using regular laundry detergents, as they can cause damage to the gear and can reduce its effectiveness.
3. Wash separately – Firefighters should always wash their turnout gear separately from other clothes to prevent contamination. Turnout gear should never be washed with regular clothing or towels, as this can lead to cross-contamination.
4. Use cold water – To prevent damage to the gear, firefighters should wash their gear in cold water. Hot water can cause the gear to shrink or damage the materials.
5. Avoid using fabric softeners – Firefighters should avoid using fabric softeners when washing their gear, as these products can clog the pores in the gear and reduce its effectiveness.
6. Hang dry – Firefighters should hang dry their gear instead of using a dryer. The heat from a dryer can cause damage to the gear and can reduce its effectiveness. If you have a drying rack even better!
7. Store properly – Firefighters should store their gear properly to prevent damage and ensure its longevity. Gear should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
8. Regular inspections – Firefighters should regularly inspect their gear for any signs of damage or wear and tear. If any damage is detected, the gear should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
9. Avoid exposure to hazardous materials – Firefighters should avoid exposing their gear to hazardous materials, such as chemicals or fuels, as this can cause damage to the gear and reduce its effectiveness. We know this can happen on the job and is unavoidable, if your gear does come in contact with hazardous materials, wash your gear as quickly as possible.
10. Follow manufacturer’s instructions – Firefighters should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintaining their gear. The manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the materials and construction of the gear, and will help to ensure its longevity and effectiveness.
In conclusion, maintaining the cleanliness and good condition of your turnout gear is essential for protecting yourself and ensuring the gear’s effectiveness. By following these simple tips, firefighters can keep their gear in top shape and be ready for their next call.
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