One of the most important pieces of personal protective equipment that a firefighter wears is their hard hat. In the midst of falling trees and other debris, having a durable hard hat that will protect one’s head and brain from injury is essential. As such, it’s important to care for your hard hat properly. While it may not seem like a hard hat requires that much upkeep, a bit of maintenance is necessary in order to keep it in good condition. Here’s how to care for your firefighter hard hat and stay safe on the job.
Inspect the Hard Hat Periodically
A hard hat consists of three main components: the shell, the suspension system, and the chinstrap. Due to the rigorous environment that firefighters work in, such components can become damaged or worn out over time. As such, the first step in how to care for your firefighter hard hat is to inspect it periodically to identify any signs of wear and tear.
As a general rule, firefighter hard hats should be inspected for scrapes, dents, nicks, and abrasions at least once a month. If the hard hat exhibits signs of damaged or worn-down parts, it should be removed from service immediately.
Know What Not To Do
When it comes to properly caring for one’s hard hat, what you don’t do is just as important as what you do. There are several things that a firefighter should avoid doing in order to keep their hard hat in good condition. Here are some of the most important practices and behaviors to avoid when it comes to extending the service life of hard hats:
- Never sit or stand on your hard hat.
- Avoid storing the hard hat in direct sunlight.
- Never modify or alter the hard shell or suspension system in any way.
- Do not carry or wear anything inside of the hard hat (with the exception of face or neck shrouds.)
- Avoid adding decals or lettering to the hat which would hide the appearance of any defects and hinder inspections.
- Avoid exposing the hat to temperature extremes, sunlight, and chemicals as much as possible.
Clean the Hard Hat Properly
When working as a firefighter, it is almost impossible to avoid getting one’s hard hat dirty. To rid your hard hat of dirt, soot, mud, and other contaminants, it’s important to clean it regularly. When cleaning a plastic hard hat, avoid using hot water and harsh solvents. Instead, scrub the shell and suspension system with a mild detergent and rinse them throughout with warm water. Once the hat is clean, wipe it dry with a clean cloth.
To supply you and your team with a high-quality hard hat, look no further than The Supply Cache. Our extensive inventory of wildland firefighter personal protective equipment will help provide safety in the perilous environments they work in. To learn more about our industry-leading wildland gear, contact us today.