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  1. #1
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    Default nfpa regarding helmets

    Can anyone tell me If I remove the large face shield from my helmet and put the screws back in place, so that the tabs that hold the skull cap in are still in place, and use nfpa rated goggles instead, would this be in violation of nfpa standards?


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    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    Officially - Yes because the helmet you have wasn't designed & tested as a unit with goggles to NFPA standards.

    That being said - IMHO goggles are better eye protection than a shield and if that's what you want AND it's o.k. w/ your Dept. - then go for it.


    FWIW - I emailed NFPA about a similar issue - I wanted to replace the Big Clunky NFPA goggles on my lid with some nicer NFPA approved goggles & that's the answer I got back on why it wasn't NFPA anymore (even though the newer helmets were already coming with the goggles I wanted to switch to anyway)
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
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    If thats the only NFPA document you intend on violating then this might be a consideration. But worrying about an NFPA compliant helmet then ignoring 1710 or 1720, 1500, 1021, 1001, or proactive use of NFPA 1 and 101, would be a tragedy.

    Over and over Fire Chiefs force the troops to wear an NDPA helmet but stick them on a truck with one or two firefighters. What a joke!!

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    Forum Member pkfd7505's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM
    If thats the only NFPA document you intend on violating then this might be a consideration. But worrying about an NFPA compliant helmet then ignoring 1710 or 1720, 1500, 1021, 1001, or proactive use of NFPA 1 and 101, would be a tragedy.

    Over and over Fire Chiefs force the troops to wear an NDPA helmet but stick them on a truck with one or two firefighters. What a joke!!
    That is a very good point.

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    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesr4242
    Can anyone tell me If I remove the large face shield from my helmet and put the screws back in place, so that the tabs that hold the skull cap in are still in place, and use nfpa rated goggles instead, would this be in violation of nfpa standards?
    If you remove the faceshield and put on goggles from the helmet manufacturer AND the manufacturer sells the same style helmet with goggles, THEN you should have an NFPA compliant helmet.

    That is: if you have a Model X from Company A, and Model X is available with goggles or a faceshield, you can buy goggles from Company A and attach them and should be compliant. If you buy a replacement faceshield or new goggles from Company B, though, it will not be compliant.
    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).

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    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firemanjb
    If you remove the faceshield and put on goggles from the helmet manufacturer AND the manufacturer sells the same style helmet with goggles, THEN you should have an NFPA compliant helmet.

    That is: if you have a Model X from Company A, and Model X is available with goggles or a faceshield, you can buy goggles from Company A and attach them and should be compliant. If you buy a replacement faceshield or new goggles from Company B, though, it will not be compliant.
    That is exactly situation I was in and via e-mail to NFPA I was told that this would NOT be compliant because my helmet was not tested w/ said goggles. Not sure if it's so specific as date of mfg. or what.

    Specifics - I wanted to remove the old "Motorcycle" goggles that came on my 1010 and replace them with the newer slimline ESS style that is now shipping on the 1010's and I was told no dice by NFPA.

    I'm not saying it's right (or even correct) - it's just what I was told. If you have any info. to the contrary please share it with us all as this is always a very confusing issue.
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    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N2DFire
    That is exactly situation I was in and via e-mail to NFPA I was told that this would NOT be compliant because my helmet was not tested w/ said goggles. Not sure if it's so specific as date of mfg. or what.

    Specifics - I wanted to remove the old "Motorcycle" goggles that came on my 1010 and replace them with the newer slimline ESS style that is now shipping on the 1010's and I was told no dice by NFPA.

    I'm not saying it's right (or even correct) - it's just what I was told. If you have any info. to the contrary please share it with us all as this is always a very confusing issue.
    The short answer here is, "it depends." If you have a 1010 made in 1997 with goggle 1, and you want to change to goggle 2, you would have to show that the 1010 was made in 1997 with goggle 2 also. My guess is that Cairns moved from goggle 1 to goggle 2 in, say, 2002. Therefore, the helmet may be tested to a different NFPA standard or there may have been changes in the way the helmet is manufacturered. In this case, the switch would not be compliant.

    However, if your 1010 was made in 2004 and was tested with both goggle 1 and goggle 2 styles and approved with both, you could use either one interchangeably (assuming no differences in attachment systems). Also, Cairns may have tested and approved goggle 2 as a replacement for goggle 1 on a 1997 helmet. In either case, the helmet would retain NFPA compliance.

    Does that help clarify?
    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).

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2DFire
    That is exactly situation I was in and via e-mail to NFPA I was told that this would NOT be compliant because my helmet was not tested w/ said goggles. Not sure if it's so specific as date of mfg. or what.
    Really when you think about it, if it has bourkes, a shield or goggles the helmet will perform the same in an impact situation. The helmet is not designed or built differently for any of the protection, it's all in what you add to it.
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    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfd4life
    Really when you think about it, if it has bourkes, a shield or goggles the helmet will perform the same in an impact situation. The helmet is not designed or built differently for any of the protection, it's all in what you add to it.
    While that is true, there are other tests that are performed. One of the key ones for goggles/bourkes/faceshields is the drip/melt test. The test is designed to ensure that if a firefighter is exposed to extremely intense heat (500F for 5 minutes) that the helmet parts will not ignite or drip down onto the firefighter and risk burning him.

    Age and condition of the helmet has the greatest affect on impact performance, which is why firefighters should replace helmets as often as they replace turnout gear.
    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).

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    My understanding has always been, that if you alter the helmet in any way, it is no longer compliant. I.e, adding googles or a shield. At least that was how it was explained to me.....

    But what do I know, we normally have 2 guys on the engine......

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    Angry

    Just put the freaking goggles on the helmet! Who cares if the helmet was tested with or without goggles. The helmet will still protect you. This legal/compliance crap drives me nuts sometimes!

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    firefiftyfive why risk it if something does happen thats the first thing insurance will look at. And it's better to be able to get coverage than to not just my opinion though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firemanjb
    While that is true, there are other tests that are performed. One of the key ones for goggles/bourkes/faceshields is the drip/melt test. The test is designed to ensure that if a firefighter is exposed to extremely intense heat (500F for 5 minutes) that the helmet parts will not ignite or drip down onto the firefighter and risk burning him.
    Um, okay, so if I have three helmets all the same. One with bourkes, one with goggles, and one with a faceshield. If the bourkes and goggles fail before the faceshield, that means the helmet will fail too? I don't think so. Bullard helmets should fail any test out there then, they all melt at about 120+*.
    FF/NREMT-B

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefighter2230
    firefiftyfive why risk it if something does happen thats the first thing insurance will look at. And it's better to be able to get coverage than to not just my opinion though.
    So they'll over look the fact that you arrived with less than 8 ffers on the initial deployments, that your hose wasn't tested withing 12 months, the pumper test also failed to draft, but since you have hydrants you stretched getting it fixed, maybe your risk analysis was off and thats why something fell on your head, did a RIT team get you out? Do all the officers who ran the incident meet NFPA standards, all firefighters? You guys are worrying about BS issues!! I have yet to see a firefighter injury or death where the NFPA compliance of the gear was the main issue. It's been used to attempt civil action against a manufacturer but as a compliance/insurance issue-I doubt it. There are many other more important things that should get half the attention of this thread has got!

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    I contacted Cairns on this same issue. All you have to do is contact cairns with your helmet model and specs. they will send you a new sticker saying it is compliant. So if you have a faceshield and want for instance ESS 2 goggles just write cairns and they should take care of you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFDACM
    You guys are worrying about BS issues!! I have yet to see a firefighter injury or death where the NFPA compliance of the gear was the main issue. It's been used to attempt civil action against a manufacturer but as a compliance/insurance issue-I doubt it. There are many other more important things that should get half the attention of this thread has got!
    THANKYOU! Thats exactly what I'm talking about!

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    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefighter2230
    firefiftyfive why risk it if something does happen thats the first thing insurance will look at. And it's better to be able to get coverage than to not just my opinion though.
    Members getting injured at fires is a very common thing were we work. I have never heard of any insurance company going after a member. Can it happen...yes....does it....no....its not worth thier time. Besides FFs are great for insurance companies....they show a loss in revenue and payouts come tax time......AFLACK anyone?

    In the vollies....I have seen guys get hurt and I have been hurt myself......and never once did the insurance investigator come and ask to see my gear. If the paperwork is filled out CORRECTLEY (hint, hint) there should be no problems.


    Stay Safe...

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    and never once did the insurance investigator come and ask to see my gear. If the paperwork is filled out CORRECTLEY (hint, hint) there should be no problems.
    And yet that is one of the first questions on the Firefighter Injury Report;
    "Protective Equipment Contributed to Injury"
    If the injury is severe enough or you unfortunately have a LODD, be prepared to have all the serial numbers of the gear the FF was wearing at the time of the injury.
    "The uniform is supposed to say something about you. You get it for nothing, but it comes with a history, so do the right thing when you're in it."
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    YEAAAHHHH, cuz I'm sure that two screws that were holding a worthless face shield on are going to have ANY affect on how the helmet performs!

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    Right.....I am sure not talking about wearing a Tin Helmet or Wool coat.

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