Thermal Protective Properties of Firefighter's Personal Protective Equipment
Study of Thermal Limits of Structural Firefighting Personal Protective Equipment
An accurate understanding of environmental conditions under which firefighters can safely operate reduces the risk of injury and death. The goal of this USFA and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) research project is to:
- Define the thermal limits of the operational fire environment and its impact on structural firefighting personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Deliver this information to the appropriate standards groups and the fire service.
During this study, we will:
- Examine documented on-duty injuries to structural firefighters due to thermal exposure of PPE.
- Conduct laboratory scale and full scale thermal testing of commercially available PPE components.
- Focus on convection heat transfer (firefighters, caught in the flow path between the fire and an exhaust vent, expose PPE to increased levels of heat due to convection).
For more information about this project, please contact USFA's Bill Troup at (301) 447-1231.
Previous USFA and NIST PPE Research Initiatives
- Firefighter's Protective Clothing and Thermal Environments of Structural Fire Fighting (PDF, 1.7 Mb, NISTIR 5804, 26 p. August 1996).
- Firefighter Thermal Exposure Workshop: Protective Clothing, Tactics, and Fire Service PPE Training Procedures June 25-26, 1996, Gaithersburg, MD (PDF, 1.0 Mb, NIST SP 911; February 1997).
- Heat Transfer Model for Firefighter's Protective Clothing (PDF, 11.7 Mb, NISTIR 6299; FA 192; 33 p. January 1999).
- Estimates of Thermal Protective Properties for Fire Fighters’ Protective Clothing Materials (PDF, 4.4 Mb, NISTIR 7282; 71 p. June 2005).
- Estimates of Thermal Conductivity for Unconditioned and Conditioned Materials Used in Fire Fighters' Protective Clothing (PDF, 184 Kb, NISTIR 7279; 28 p. November 2005).
- Development of an Apparatus for Measuring the Thermal Performance of Firefighters' Protective Clothing (PDF, 3.5 Mb, NISTIR 6400; October 1999).
- Development of a Dynamic Compression Test Apparatus for Measuring Thermal Performance of Firefighter's Protective Clothing (PDF, 4.2 Mb, NISTIR 6502; April 2000).
- Estimates of Thermal Conductivity for Materials Used in Firefighter's Protective Clothing (PDF, 2.0 Mb, NISTIR 6512; 22 p. May 2000).
- Thermal Performance of Firefighter's Protective Clothing Part 1. Numerical Study of Transient Heat and Water Vapor Transfer (PDF, 383 Kb, NISTIR 6881; August 2002).
- Full Ensemble and Bench Scale Testing of Firefighter Protective Clothing (PDF, 2.4 Mb).