When to Replace Your Wildland Protective Gear (PPE)

Amanda Delatorre |

When to Replace Your Wildland Protective Gear (PPE)

Protective gear refers to personal protective equipment (PPE) that firefighters wear, such as brush trousers, suspenders, gloves, boots, and jackets. It is responsible for helping protect firefighters from significant injuries or illnesses that may result from contact with dangerous chemicals, electrical components, fire, and other hazards faced on the job.

For protective gear to provide such necessary defense, it must be in a serviceable condition. You must know when to replace protective gear to ensure that you are properly protected when you need it most. To get an idea of when to replace your wildland protective gear, consult the guide below.

Once the gear reaches its maximum lifespan

While the exact amount of time that protective gear lasts will depend largely on several factors, the NFPA 1851 standard dictates that protective gear must not remain in use for more than 10 years.

The standard specifies that the 10-year period of use refers to the amount of time that passes from the date that the ensemble was manufactured, not the date that it began being used in service. Ten years serves as a maximum lifespan; however, the serviceable lifetime of protective gear is often shortened depending on factors such as:

  • How often the gear is worn each week
  • How often it is laundered and what laundering process is used
  • The conditions it has been exposed to
  • How often it is maintained

When the protective gear is exposed to dangerous chemicals

A key purpose of protective gear is to safeguard firefighters from harmful chemicals. But when protective gear gets exposed to certain chemicals, such as hydrochloric acid, without being properly cleaned, permanent damage can occur. As a result, you will need to replace all or at least part of your wildland protective gear that came into contact with the hazardous chemical.

If your protective gear needs to be replaced, you can find competitively priced, high-quality PPE at the Supply Cache. Our wide range of personal protective equipment includes wildland gloves, helmets, masks, brush coats, and firefighter goggles. To learn more about how our PPE can keep you safe while out on the job, contact us today.