Extending the lifetime of your fire suit comes with a range of benefits. First and foremost, it provides the confidence that your garment is serving you with a high standard of protection. In addition, it lowers overall costs from not needing to replace the suit as frequently. Which, as a follow-on benefit, means you are being more sustainable and eco-friendly. So, what are the best ways to go about extending the lifetime of your fire suit? Here are our six top tips.
1. Wash your fire suit using the manufacturer’s recommendations
Following the guidelines around how to wash your fire suit — e.g. at what temperature — will help prevent unnecessary damage to the garment and help it last longer. In addition, remember to remove attachments such as carabiners and other metal applications before washing.
2. Wash your fire suit more often
On the job, it’s likely that chemicals and pollutants can stick to the fire suit, and remain there until it’s washed. Over time, this contamination can pose a health risk to the wearer. There are care and maintenance standards available that provide guidelines and recommendations on washing and maintaining your gear including frequency of laundering.
3. Take advantage of your manufacturer’s care and maintenance programmes
Nowadays, many garment manufacturers offer care and maintenance programmes which provide full solutions for washing and looking after your fire suits. This is a great solution for outsourcing the work and maintaining your fire suit to the highest standard.
4. Store your fire suit properly
It is imperative to ensure fire suits are stored in a dark area, such as lockers or other designated areas where they can hang out of the light. This is because the fibres that are used within the fire suit can degrade if left out to constant light exposure, compromising the fire suit’s ability to protect the wearer on the job.
5. Be aware of your fire suit’s colour durability
When purchasing a fire suit, it’s worth taking into account the type of fabric being used in the fire suit and its ability to maintain look and appearance. Fabric manufacturers are constantly developing new fabrics and technologies — such as Truecolor® technology — which maintain their colour after repeated industrial washes. Be sure to ask the manufacturer about the fire suit’s colour durability properties when enquiring about a new suit, to make sure you’re getting the most from your purchase.
6. Use your fire suit properly
Knowing the functionality of your fire suit and the correct way to utilise its different accessories will help avoid damage to the suit. Each garment has a specific purpose which defines its requirements and limits. Using the right garment for the intended purpose will significantly help to extend the life of the garment. For example, garments designed for technical rescue have their strength in their mechanical properties and not in their thermal properties. This makes them more robust than, for example, structural firefighting suits in this application.
Keen to learn more about extending the lifetime of your fire suit?
To find out more about any of our top tips above, or for any other questions, feel free to get in touch with us here.