The Importance of Gear & Clothing Cleaning for Firefighters

All of us have grown up with the knowledge that if we call 911 during an inferno, firefighters will immediately come to save the day. But simply imagine if this wasn’t the case.

Would we still light those candles or keep the kettle plugged in? Or perhaps the most chilling of the questions, would WE run into a burning building to save someone?

Fortunately, we don’t have to ever think of such things, as there are countless revered, lifesaving, and courageous firefighters who take on this selfless job for the betterment of our society.

However, firefighters wouldn’t be able to do their important work without their gear!

Firefighter gear, the personal protective equipment also known as turnout gear, was invented to help ensure the safety of those brave firefighters who put their lives on the line day in and day out to protect us.

It’s not hard to see the strict importance of turnout gear for firefighters, so it shouldn’t be difficult to imagine how equally important it is for this gear to be cleaned effectively!

Allow us to illuminate everything you need to know about turnout gear, and why it’s so crucial that it’s cleaned properly:

firefighter gear

What is Turnout Gear?

Turnout gear exists as the final defence line for firefighters. This high-tech gear protects firefighters from heat, flames, and biological agents.

Turnout gear typically consists of:

  1. Trousers
  2. Boots
  3. Jacket

firefighter gear

Inspecting Turnout Gear

First things first, firefighters must be trained on their gear so that they understand when the performance has been compromised. Standard practice is to inspect turnout gear after each use while additionally conducting an in-depth inspection once a year.

Fires contain harmful and hazardous substances that can affect the performance of turnout gear. These inspections are meant to discover these contaminants.

While some types of damage to turnout gear are obvious, such as rips or discolouration, not all damages will be noticeable, such as moisture barrier pinholes. Therefore, it’s imperative to do thorough inspections, keep your gear maintained, and do field tests to determine the condition of your gear!

fireman in fire

 Cleaning Turnout Gear 

Doing our best to guarantee the safety of firefighters involves frequent gear cleaning. Dirty gear is known for:

  • Being more likely to conduct heat and electricity
  • Carrying less insulation
  • Lacking liquid shedding properties
  • Being more susceptible to flammability

One thing that is crucial to know, however, is that an improper cleaning job can actually destroy or worsen turnout gear performance. There are three types of gear cleaning typically conducted:

  1. Routine: Conducted after any fire ground use if the gear has been soiled
  2. Advanced: Performed by washing the gear in a machine
  3. Specialized: Carried out by a professional gear cleaning company if toxic agents or blood-borne pathogens have contaminated your turnout gear.

When it comes to drying the gear, a heat dryer can affect the performance of it. Therefore, its best practice to air dry your turnout gear inside and away from direct light since UV rays can degrade the protective fibres in the clothing.

In all cases, it’s best to leave your turnout gear cleaning to the professionals who are expertly trained to maintain the integrity and protective features of it!

firefighter gear

Why Clean your Gear with Love Your Gear?

At Love Your Gear, we believe wholeheartedly in the importance of not only keeping your uniforms and sporting equipment clean with our uniform cleaning and gear cleaning services but additionally doing our part to ensure first responders have safe and clean gear to help them go out there and save LIVES!

Love Your Gear uses the top gear cleaning technology of ozone that kills and eliminates all of the things that could compromise the safety and health of your gear! If you have an odour that won’t leave your gear, reach out to our team to learn more about our services.