The correct maintenance of your personal protective equipment not only can lengthen your wildland fire suit’s life time, it is essential to ensure its protective function. The PPE constitutes a protective barrier that can avoid or reduce the damage resulting from an accident, that is why it is graphically represented by shield-shaped pictograms that symbolize the protection they offer against different risks.
First responders face several challenges for which the good condition of the PPE is critical. Do you know how to maintain the vft wildland firefighting suit? Follow this 7 steps guide.
7 tips to keep your PPE in good condition
1. Always wash work clothes separately, do not mix them with other personal clothes.
2. Washing instructions:
- Dry clean at a maximum temperature of 40ºC.
- Never use bleach.
- Never use detergents containing hydrogen peroxide, as they reduce the flame-resistant properties of the fabric.
- The use of fabric softeners is not recommended as they can mask flame retardant performance and can act as fuel in the event of combustion.
- Garments should always be washed and dried inside out to help maintain the surface appearance of garments. And leave the zippers fastened during the wash.
3. Iron it at 150ºC.
4. Keeping clothes clean and dry after use will prevent accelerated wear of the electrical insulator.
5. When you don't use them, store them in a dry place avoiding their exposure to the sun.
6. Do not repair the tears. Cotton yarn is flammable, it could be very dangerous if a flame explosion occurs.
7. In case of splash of chemical or flammable liquids, check its condition and clean or remove it from service.
Remember, taking good care of your equipment is an investment in your own safety.