Thread: How long?

  1. #1
    Junior Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Hungary, Europe

    Question How long?

    Can I ask you, how long do you use your turnout gear?
    What do the product manufacturers say? How many years do they stand the usage?

    Thanx George
    Bye: George

  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber
    mcaldwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Panorama, British Columbia, Canada


    It will depend on your environment and usage, but our manufacturers have not given us any reccomended life spans.

    We are a small volley dept with low call volume, and we have a couple of 10 year old sets that are holding up OK. We inspect the moisture barrier, stitching, and thermal layer after every fire, live training burn, or annually (whichever comes first). Our Junior Officers are always on the first hose team in, and therefore get the most fire time, so they get new gear every 5 years regardless of condition (sooner if required).

    On cheaper gear, you'll find the plastic moisture barrier can get stiff and start to crack after a few years, and the insulation in the thermal layer can pill-up and pack out. Gloves never seem to last more than a couple of years, and helmets are taken out of service once the paint begins to show cracks or wear, or if there is any major drop or extreme heat exposure.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!


  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Mar 2002


    I wouldn't use years as an indicator as much as the condition of the gear. Inspect it regularly. A good idea is to inspect it every time you wash it. I know of some departments that have mandatory inspections during their monthly trainings. Depending on the condition, we try to get at least 5 years out of our gear.

  4. #4
    Forum Member
    SpartanGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004


    The longest anyone will have gear at our department is three years. It's staggered so that we replace 1/3 of the turnout gear every year.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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