In early May of 2012, FireRescue1 conducted a survey on firefighter ’s use of Personal Protective Equipment. We have posted the results to the survey below. They represent a poll of 463 firefighters.
• 44% of firefighters wear a flip down shield, and 28% wear a combination of eye protection.
• Color preference is split between black & tan for Turnout gear, with 39.8% of firefighters prefering tan, and 38.3% prefering black, with 21% having no preference.
• 93% of firefighters have never had their PPE fail during a fire. The below comments were among the 6% of firefighters who have had their PPE fail:
" Velcro closure at neck failed."
"Involved in a partial roof collapse. hot ember got between my scott pack and my turn out coat. burned through to my back. small burn. Pocket flaps also were heavily damaged"
" A pair of outdated structural gloves cuffs melted to my wrist. "
"Too high of a temp. Coat failed during a fire. I used to have suspenders with the two metal rings on the back, they left burn marks on my back from the excessive heat and coat failure."
Question 1: Which style of helmet do you prefer?
SUMMARY: 63.7% of Firefighters prefer the New York Traditional Helmet Style.
Question 2: How did you receive your helmet?
SUMMARY: 71% of Firefighters' helmets are issued to them by their departments.
Question 3: How did you receive your firefighting gloves?
SUMMARY: 73% of Firefighters' gloves are issued to them by their department.
Question 4: Which eye protection do you use?
SUMMARY: 44% of firefighters wear a flip down shield, and 28% wear a combination of eye protection.
Question 5: Which structural firefighting boot do you wear?
SUMMARY: 59% of Firefighters wear leather boots.
Question 6: Which brand of structural firefighting boot do you prefer?
SUMMARY: 50% of firefighters prefer Globe. Other brands in order of preference were: Thorogood, Pro-Warrington, Lion, Haix, and Danner.
Question 7: Do you feel that your PPE protects you adequately in most situations?
SUMMARY: 66% of firefighters feel that their PPE protects them adequately.
Question 8: Has your PPE ever failed during a fire?
SUMMARY: 94% of firefighters have not had their PPE fail during a fire.
Question 9: Does turnout gear color matter?
SUMMARY: It's a toss-up between black and tan, with 39.8% of firefighters prefering tan, and 38.3% prefering black, with 21% having no preference.
Question 10: How old is your turnout gear?
SUMMARY: 67% of firefighters have turnout gear that is less than 5 years old.
Question 11: When does your department plan to replace turnout gear?
SUMMARY: 34% of firefighters don't know when their department will replace turnout gear, and 19% plan to replace in the next 1-3 years.
For more information and resources on firefighting PPE, visit the FireRescue1 PPE product section.