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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Default Level "A" suit testing/replacement

    Hey Gents, I am currently replacing all our level A's, I was wondering if you replace your suits every 5 yrs as per/ manufactures recommendations or if your replacing them when they fail the annual tests. The arguememt is if they don't get used and pass the test they should be good. I have the notion that replacement every 5 years is the cost of maintaining the equiptment. Any takers on this thought?
    Be SAFE!!! Go home when your shift is done and enjoy life.
    This is MY OPINION and ONLY MINE.
    Not my Departments/IAFF/WPFF


  2. #2
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    I work in private industry. We replace the suits if they fail or they reach the 5 year limit. Either way they are replaced.

    My thoughts!
    Anthony

  3. #3
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    I thought the old standard said you replace if they fail or after 5 years.

    New standard said replace after failing.

    We have some suits that are 9 years old and still in service. What is the standard number? Where can I find out?

  4. #4
    Forum Member mdcook's Avatar
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    Flochief, I know on my team, we follow the manufacturer's instructions for testing and replacing our suits.
    At this time, the paper work says to replace after 5 years, but we have received word that the maker is researching the possibility of extending the replacement to 10 years. We'll just have to wait and see.
    "Your spill is our thrill."

  5. #5
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    This is why I was asking, After talking with DuPont over the valve issue, I found out about the 5 yr replacement, and replacing the valves every 2 years. I have also heard replace them when they fail and the possibility of 10 yrs from the date of purchase. I have suits comming on the 8-10 yr mark, they still pass no prob, I am suggesting to my department we budget to replace some every yr, yet I still get the "they pass don't they". So i figured I would ask your opinion on the issue. We havn't had a level "A" incident in 5 yrs now so some of the suits only get out when test time comes around. I like to error on the side of safety. But convincing the higher up to follow the 5 yr repalcement could be tough. After the 5 yr you can use them till they fail but the manufacturer can't be held libial after 5 yrs. But from the few that responded it sounds like 5yrs. Flochief the 5 yr comes from the Dupont, they make the material.
    Thanks gents
    Be SAFE!!! Go home when your shift is done and enjoy life.
    This is MY OPINION and ONLY MINE.
    Not my Departments/IAFF/WPFF

  6. #6
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    Default Level A suit testing

    Along this same line, could anyone shed light on your testing procedure? Do you send the suits to a "professional" of some sort or have you purchased the equipment necessary to test your own suits? We are a paid department with haz-mat techs and equipment, but no "team" or "leader". We need to bring things into compliance immediately before an emergency occurs. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Forum Member gunnyv's Avatar
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    We are going through this right now. The manufacturer of the suits we currently have state they can recertify the suit after testing and inspection to continue use after 5 yrs. I'm personally leery of a plastic material that's designated by the manufacturer as "limited use" and has been in a box for more than 5 yrs.

    We recently took our old flash suits out of service due to age-8yrs. We are reluctant to buy something with a 5 yr shelf life, since we just used level A for the first time in 5 years. We are considering the new OneSuit Flash from Saint Gobain, they claim they have no shelf life due to the materials used and the method of construction. The rep is coming in soon to demo.

    Our suit tests fell behind, this year we had the rep come in and test for a fee, but learned how to do it ourselves-we were missing some accessories.

    Shockem, no offense, but there has to be a leader. Whether he is an officer assigned the duty, or a junior man who steps in to take charge, someone has to see that the work is done. Otherwise, forget doing Hazmat. There is way too much to do and too many standards and regulations to comply with to handle it haphazardly.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    I test all our suits each year, Just bought a new tester because our new suits have a diffrent valve, than the Older responder series. I guess I would be more reluctant to follow a company who says there is no shelf life on a suit. Plastics deteriorate due to lots of diffrent reasons. I see it as a life insurance policy for my guys, If I have to replace them every 5 yrs to keep the warm fuzzy going than so be it. will I get my monies worth out of them NO since our last level "A" was in 98, but our next one could be today. I guess I want the best for my guys....
    Be SAFE!!! Go home when your shift is done and enjoy life.
    This is MY OPINION and ONLY MINE.
    Not my Departments/IAFF/WPFF

  9. #9
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    Knowing that the suits are made from the same material. How do you replace your level B suits? I am going to have to make a bold statement and say that the material last just as long. Common sense does not always prevail in the fire service. Anyone have any doumentation for this?
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrescue View Post
    Knowing that the suits are made from the same material. How do you replace your level B suits? I am going to have to make a bold statement and say that the material last just as long. Common sense does not always prevail in the fire service. Anyone have any doumentation for this?
    No documentation, but as long as the "shiny" chemical protective coating is still "shiny" I wouldn't have any problem using them - 7, 8, or 12 years after manufacture.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Sorry big diffrance between a level "B" and level "A". You don't test level "B" annualy... Your life doesn't depend on a level B, Splash protection. Diffrent type of materials also. Also depends on what tasks your doing.
    Be SAFE!!! Go home when your shift is done and enjoy life.
    This is MY OPINION and ONLY MINE.
    Not my Departments/IAFF/WPFF

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by plisken View Post
    Sorry big diffrance between a level "B" and level "A". You don't test level "B" annualy... Your life doesn't depend on a level B, Splash protection. Diffrent type of materials also. Also depends on what tasks your doing.
    Actually the main difference between A and B are the valves for airt tight, the zippers and the batch testing procedures. If you buy the same style/series of suits, the material is exactly the same. The Level B suit is a splash suit, the A is the same suit with a vapor tight zipper, one way valving and gloves. Yes, the seams may be different, etc. The main suit material can be the same.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber plisken's Avatar
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    Ok I guess you said everything is diffrent except the material, Some B suits use the same materials depending on the quality and use required., Most B suits do not need permiation testing so a lower grade material can be used. about the only thing in common between the 2 is the materials are made by 3M.
    Be SAFE!!! Go home when your shift is done and enjoy life.
    This is MY OPINION and ONLY MINE.
    Not my Departments/IAFF/WPFF

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