Proper care of personal protective equipment can mean the difference between life and death for firefighters. Chapter 7 of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1851 standard sets the requirements for proper cleaning and decontamination of gear. Meeting these standards presents a challenge.
Gear cannot be taken home and placed in a firefighter’s washer and dryer – nor can it be taken to a local laundry or dry cleaner. Contracting out the cleaning of personal protective equipment requires finding a properly trained and certified service capable of meeting NFPA standards.
As firefighters perform the dangerous task of fighting fires, their gear can become exposed to some nasty chemicals. Dry debris should be brushed off at the scene. A sink and a soft brush accomplish some additional cleaning. But how can you clean gear thoroughly when equipment producing mechanical action by tumbling or agitation is prohibited to use on helmets, footwear, and outer radiant reflective components?
Ultrasonic cleaners offer are a simple and cost-effective solution to meeting the NFPA standards. These devices use high frequency sound waves to produce bubbles, which gently and effectively scrub personal protective equipment clean without causing wear.
Ultrasonic cleaners work without high temperatures or harsh detergents prohibited by NFPA standards on the hard components of a firefighter’s gear. Restoration services routinely use ultrasonic cleaners to remove soot and other contaminants from fire-damaged items like jewelry, dishes, and electronic equipment. If it can scrub these delicate items, it can clean a firefighter’s personal protective equipment without harm.
NFPA standards present a challenge when it comes to cleaning gear without causing damage or excessive wear, but ultrasonic cleaners help firefighters meet and overcome the challenge. To learn more about cleaning and decontaminating personal protective equipment and how ultrasonic cleaners can help, visit the Omegasonics website. You can also find us on Twitter and LinkedIn.