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  1. #21
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    There are four reasons the faceshield could be cracking:
    1. Repeated exposure to heat. Since the shield gets heat on both sides and is normally in the up position, it will degrade faster than the helmet material.
    2. Exposure to ultraviolet. UV rays degrade all materials over time, including turnout gear and plastics (the shield). Obviously not an issue in a trunk, but it could play a role for places where the sun hits the gear rack regularly.
    3. Age. Just as turnout gear and boots are not built to last forever, neither are helmet components. As a general rule, replace your helmet when you replace your turnout gear...they have seen the same heat and abuse.
    4. Trauma. Vibrations, impacts and regular load-bearing can all cause plastic to crack. When I wore a shield, I always grabbed my helmet by the brim to avoid extra strain on the shield.

    Keep in mind that when you replace a faceshield, you want to buy the faceshield from the same manufacturer as the helmet (eg, don't put a Cairns shield on a Bullard helmet). Failure to do so voids the NFPA approval, especially since one manufacturer makes its own visors (rather than buying from an outside provider).

    For goggles, my choice has always been the InnerZone2 by ESS. It is the clip on version mentioned earlier in this thread. Again, if this is your primary eye protection and you remove the faceshield, buy the IZ2 goggles from your helmet manufacturer (I know Cairns and Bullard both offer versions). NFPA approval requires you buy from the helmet manufacturer.

    While removing the goggles prior to a training burn or actually entering a structure fire protects them and keeps them useful for things like venting a roof or cutting a car, technically it makes the helmet non-NFPA compliant. I took them off to save them, but I can't suggest that since it does void the approvals. After all, rules are rules, right?
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).


  2. #22
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cracked faceshields. What's causing it?

    Originally posted by Firefighter1219
    As many of you know, I currently run with a volunteer department. We use tactical tupperware, with 4" faceshields. For some time now, I have been noticing small, minute cracks appearing on top of the face shield (upper rim).

    I carry my helmet in a gear bag in the trunk of my car. I do this because there is no room to keep gear on the engine, and I don't always respond to the station (ie if I'm close to the scene). I think the heat from being inside of the trunk of my car is causing the faceshield to crack. I have already lost one faceshield, and don't want to lose anymore.

    I don't have any other place to keep my gear, so I was wondering if anyone has had the same problem. What do you think is causing the cracks? Have you had the same problem? What can I do to keep this from happening?

    I will try to get some pictures so you can see what I am referring to.
    Is it a Scott? Don't know if this is the same thing, but I noticed the blurb while looking at the drywall thread link to FF Close Calls and wondered if it might be what you are experiencing .... probably not the same thing or someone else would have brought it up but oh well ... here ya go anyway:

    FIREFIGHTER WARNING-SCBA MASK CRACKING PROBLEMS NOTED AS SHOWN BELOW:

    Dear FirefighterCloseCalls.com

    We have been having problems at work with cracked Scott facepieces. I found a site that the Navy uses where a person can go to to see what the cracks looks like. Some are very subtle.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  3. #23
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    The face shields of a helmet, I assume, not the face piece of a self contained breathing apparatus.

    I do know, speaking on the SCBA issue, I've had a mask that leaked around the mfg seal of the actual rubber mask and transparent (plastic, safety glass?) "window" piece. Fortunatly the air only went out, and not back in.

  4. #24
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Ahhh ok ... thanks for explaining it to me
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  5. #25
    MembersZone Subscriber Firefighter1219's Avatar
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    I'm talking about the faceshield on my helmet, not on my mask. The helmet in in my avatar. We use Draeger airpacks, and the face pieces are just fine on them.

    My helmet is just over a year old now, and the faceshield let go in about 10 months. I can't think of what kind of helmet I have off of the top of my head.
    TO/EMT CVFD (1219)
    EMT GEMS
    CPT/EMT MVFD
    ---------------------------------------------------
    Proud Member of IACOJ
    ---------------------------------------------------
    9-11-01 Never Forget FDNY 343

  6. #26
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    I am not sure of the brand of our helmets and shields, but I do know that when the shield is up as high as it will go, it is just touching the ridge on top of the helmet. If the shield is forced to go farther up the ridge, it puts stress on it and causes it to crack. This I know from experience. Maybe when your helmet is stored, the shield is forced higher up than it needs to go.

    As for goggles that are compatible with prescription glasses, my department buys Paulson tactical series goggles which can be ordered from Galls. They work really well, and fit over glasses comfortably, but yet do not look like bug eyes.

  7. #27
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    Arnt all ESS Innerzone goggles, rated to be on your helmet while doing interior work? (ESS I II III)
    FF I
    FF II
    Hazmat Operations
    EMT-B
    ---------------------------------------------------

    The light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarly shut off due to the current work load. The Mangement

    When all else fails USE DUCT-TAPE!!!

    My views posted in this fourm are my personal views only and do not reflect on any agencies that I am afiliated with.

  8. #28
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    On my 1010 I have a tuffshied mounted permanently and I have a pair of Innerzone II's that snap on. Use them for when I really dont need a shield. Plus I have safety glasses out the wazoo.

    When I get my leather soon I will have to go with the bourkes and goggles. But that leaves the rest of my forhead and sides of my face open for attack from debris. But I would never be caught with a shield on a leather.
    FF I
    FF II
    Hazmat Operations
    EMT-B
    ---------------------------------------------------

    The light at the end of the tunnel has been temporarly shut off due to the current work load. The Mangement

    When all else fails USE DUCT-TAPE!!!

    My views posted in this fourm are my personal views only and do not reflect on any agencies that I am afiliated with.

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