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Quiz: Should your fire boots be replaced?

Take our 6-question quiz to gauge whether your boots need replacement

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Take our six-question quiz to gauge whether your firefighting boots need replacement.


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Damaged and soiled fire boots can be a hazard to firefighters. Chapter 10 of NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, 2020 Edition mandates that structural ensemble elements, such as fire boots, shall be retired no more than 10 years from the date of manufacture.

The standard is very clear that this does not mean that all ensemble elements will last – or should even remain in service – for the full five or 10 years, and it does provide other criteria for retirement as well. Per Chapter 10 requirements, ensemble elements like fire boots shall be retired if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Worn or damaged to the point where repair is not possible nor cost effective.
  • Not in compliance on the date of manufacture.
  • Contaminated to the extent that cleaning is not possible nor cost effective.
  • Contaminated by CBRN terrorism agents.

These mandatory retirements are applicable to any element still in service 10 years after the date of manufacture, and the retirement date is based solely upon the date of manufacture found on the label, regardless of when the element might have been put into service.

Take our six-question quiz below to gauge whether your boots need replacement.