A firefighter turnout gear temperature rating is a heat-rating index (thermal protective performance rating) that measures the ability of your thermal protective material to protect you from high thermal exposure.
The heat rating, or degradation temperature, is when the fibers in the gear materials are completely destroyed. Firefighter turnout gear temperature ratings are not a threshold measurement of the temperature a human can withstand. Degradation temperatures are not survivability temperatures.
Yet turnout gear (also called bunker gear) is still critical to firefighter protection.
What Protection Does Turnout Gear Provide?
Although turnout gear provides limited protection to your body, it’s still one of the most important “tools” a firefighter has. Turnout gear will decrease the risks of harm from heat and flame, body fluids, cuts and abrasions, liquid splash from fireground chemicals, and other hazardous materials. Fire burns at temperatures up to 2000° F (1093.3° C) or higher. Turnout gear is designed to protect you to make structural firefighting survival, just not invincible.
What’s a Trusted Brand of Turnout Gear?
Fire-End proudly carries LION turnout gear. LION is known worldwide for its cutting-edge technology in firefighter apparel that’s protective yet comfortable while adhering to National Fire Protection Association 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, requirements, and durability. LION is the largest supplier of chem-bio protective apparel for the U.S. Military and National Guard civil support teams.
The outer layer of structural firefighting PPE is typically made from flame-retardant material such as Nomex, Kevlar, PBI, Basofil (BASF), etc.
Our most popular outer shell options are rated as follows:
- PBI Max Outer Shell breakthrough approximately 1300 degrees F
- 6.5-oz Armor AP Outer Shell breakthrough approximately 1100 degrees F
We are an authorized dealer for LION products on the NYS contract. Contact Your Local Fire-End Rep to set up a meeting or price out a garment to meet your specifications. We have outside sales reps in most areas of New York.
What is the NFPA Standard for Turnout Gear?
There are numerous tests turnout gear must pass to be NFPA 1971 certified, not just heat resistance thresholds. Tear resistance, corrosion resistance, retro-reflectivity, breaking strength are just a few of the other tests.
The standard Thermal Protective Performance (TPP) requirement on turnout gear for structural firefighting is a Minimum 35 cal/cm2 TPP rating; 17.5 seconds to a second-degree burn.
The standard Total Heat Loss (THL) requirement on turnout gear for structural firefighting is a Minimum of 205 W/m2.
Learn more about the safety and use of your turnout gear from the LION Fire Academy.
What is a Compression Burn?
Moisture in your turnout gear and compression of its insulating air space may allow heat to travel through at a high rate, which results in a burn. Water adds weight and transfers heat.
Our turnout gear provides a moisture barrier. LION turnout gear uses IsoDri, which makes your gear lighter, absorbs less water, and its insulated air helps prevent compression burn.
How to Wash Firefighter Turnout Gear?
NFPA recommends turnout gear undergoes an advanced cleaning bi-annual and routine cleaning after each emergency response. Our blog offers more information on how to wash your turnout gear.
How Often Should You Replace Your Turnout Gear?
Any gear that shows disrepair must be retired and replaced. You should inspect your turnout gear daily and your department should conduct bi-annual advanced inspections. The typical life expectancy of turnout gear is 5-7 years.