Dirty turnout gear is becoming a thing of the past, gone are the days of walking into a fire department and seeing soot covered jackets and pants hung in a bunk room. Firefighters are beginning to understand the serious consequences associated with dirty gear. But it isn’t all about health, there are many reasons why a fire department should keep their gear clean. Below are three reasons why you should clean your turnout gear.
The health and wellness of a firefighter is the most important reason to keep turnout gear clean. Dirty turnout gear is loaded with carcinogens and toxic material that have been linked to cancer. If you want to know more about cancer and how it relates to firefighters or turnout gear, check out this blog. Cancer is the number one killer among active and retired firefighters, there are many things we can do to reduce the risk of cancer among firefighters but properly cleaning gear is one of the largest controllable factors.
Turnout gear is designed to protect firefighters and keep them safe. Turnout gear is typically made up of a thermal liner, moisture barrier and outer shell. Each one of these components can be impacted by not cleaning gear or even by cleaning gear incorrectly. In addition to cleaning the gear correctly, firefighters must also make sure their gear is not damaged. Ripped or damaged gear can cause serious injury which is why it is so important to have your gear inspected after a major incident.
While individual firefighters may not be concerned about the cost of turnout gear, this is something many fire chiefs think about each year when reviewing their budget. Turnout gear costs approximately $3,000 per set, if properly cleaned and inspected this gear is expected to last up to 10 years. If you forgo annual inspections and cleanings, the lifespan of turnout gear can dramatically decrease. This means the department and chief need to spend potentially thousands of dollars more on bunker gear because it wasn’t properly maintained. To avoid this, RedLine recommends every set of turnout gear be cleaned and inspected at least once a year or after each major exposure to fire.
RedLine Gear Cleaning is an NFPA 1851 verified cleaner, specializing in on-site bunker gear decontaminations. Our Mobile Extraction Unit allows us to perform gear cleaning directly at your fire department, providing the fastest and most convenient cleaning solution on the market. Want to know more about how we help keep firefighters safe and why chiefs across the country are using RedLine? Learn more here.