How to… Inspect your Firefighter Jacket
How To Inspect your Firefighter Jacket
For this “how to…” we’ll be using the 800 Jacket which is EN469 level 2 approved and has a PBO outer shell.
Before we get started, here’s a brief reminder of the inspection requirements explained in BS 8617:2019:
There are two types of inspection indicated in BS 8617:2019: routine and advanced. I’ll only talk about the routine inspection here because that is what will apply to most of you and will be conducted far more often. In fact, you’ll be doing a routine inspection every time you get a new piece of kit, at the start of every shift, after you use the kit and any other time you deem an inspection to be required. So, quite regularly, indeed.
You’ll need to inspect each piece of your kit (Garments, Helmets, Gloves, footwear and firehoods) for the following:
Damaged reflection strips
Kit specific damage (like checking the soles of boots)
There is a lot of detail for each piece of kit. We’ll be creating “how tos” which will show how to inspect each piece of kit in accordance with BS 8617:2019, starting with the Jacket, right now.
If anything fails the routine inspection, then it’s time to submit that piece of fire kit for advanced inspection. It’s important to have procedures set up to implement this.
Step 1: Overall Inspection
Lay your jacket out and have a good look at the front and back in search of any obvious soiling, contamination or damage.
Step 2: Gentle brushing
Using a soft brush, clean your jacket of any soiling as best you can.
Step 3: Check the zip
The zip and storm flap should be in perfect working order. Check that the zip runs up and down the jacket without getting snagged. If there is a quick release feature check that too.
The zip pull tag should be intact and fully close the zip.
Check the teeth up and down the zip. A single irregularity is reason to pass the garment on for an advanced inspection and probably repair.
Finally, open the zip and check the placket (that’s the seam under the zip) for and damage.
Step 4: Fastening
A fastening could be a Velcro closure, a popper or a button. Check each one carefully that they work well, and they’re not filled with dirt
Step 5: Cuffs
The cuffs are an integral feature of every fire garment. Check each section: the thump loop, the anti-wicking and the mesh. There should be no damage, rips or tears.
Step 6: Hem
Checking the hem is much the same as the cuffs. Each section should be undamaged and secure.
Step 7: Seams
Check the seams of the whole jacket, you’re looking for tears and rips. Pay particular attention to the shoulders, armpits and elbows.
Step 8: Reflective Tape
The tape should be securely fastened to the jacket and should be free from tears and breaks. Checking the seams is important, loose tape could get snagged.
Step 9: Moisture Barrier
Using the internal inspection zips, look inside the jacket at the moisture barrier. All FlamePro jackets which include inspection zips use moisture barriers which change colour to indicate over exposure to heat. IF you spot a colour change, a tear or anything else out of the ordinary on the moisture barrier the submit your jacket for advanced inspection.
Reminder: If you notice anything that is out of the ordinary it is best to have an advanced inspection conducted on the suit. Your safety should always come first and it could only take one loose seam to stop your suit from performing when you need it most.
Did we miss anything? Do you inspect your suit differently? let us know.