4 Benefits to Cleaning Firefighter Turnout Gear with a Washer Extractors

Firefighters are becoming increasingly aware of the long-term hazards, including cancer, of wearing dirty and contaminated personal protective equipment.   Dirty PPE exposes them to known and unknown contaminants via skin absorption and off-gassing.

Short-term hazards are also linked with wearing dirty protective gear. One of the most serious risks is that when more particles bind to and remain on protective gear, that gear gradually loses its efficacy, placing firefighters at risk. Because it reflects less radiant heat, becomes more combustible, and may even conduct electricity, the protective apparel meant to protect a fireman may instead create a dangerous event for the firefighter. Another potential hazard is carcinogen treatment. Carcinogens are what is left in the PPE after fighting a fire and are a direct cause of cancer in humans.

Regular cleaning, as directed by the manufacturer, can reduce both the short- and long-term hazards associated with wearing dirty and contaminated protective gear. NFPA 1851: Standard on the Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting provides more information.

dexter t900 with chemical injectionScott Equipment can help your fire department purchase the right washer-extractor, and protective clothing can be properly cleaned — preserving the gear's protective integrity.  We can advise you on NFPA 1851 regulations such as a stainless steel front-load machine with no agitator that spins between 85 and 100G.   We sell Dexter Laundry Equipment that meets NFPA specifications.  It’s also important to keep in mind these features. 

Highly Programmable 

Soiled protective gear should be cleaned in a highly programmed front-load washer-extractor, according to NFPA 1851. A highly programmable washer allows fire departments to alter how they wash gear based on changing recommendations and fabric innovations. 

Every aspect of the wash process, including extract speed in G-force, number of baths, water temperatures, water levels, cylinder rotation choices, mechanical action, wash duration, and automated chemical injection, may be programmed in a highly programmable system.

Fire departments can clean practically any fabric type using Dexter commercial washing machines. The user then inputs a code and clicks the start button once the machine has been configured.

With the appropriate combination of chemicals, water temperature, water levels, and extract speed, the gear is cleaned automatically and properly every time. Regardless of who is washing the laundry, the load outcomes remain consistent every time.

Chemical Injection 

fs picture 2 2This function allows Dexter washer-extractors to automatically inject precise volumes of cleaning chemicals at precisely the right moment in the wash cycle and at the correct water temperature.

Fire departments should pick a washer-extractor with this feature since it avoids chemical abuse, which can harm the cloth. It also saves money for the department by making better use of those chemicals.

Scott Equipment sells a "Firemans Package" with the correct mix of chemicals and our installers will get you set up when you purchase the package. 

Energy Efficiency 

Going green is beneficial not just to the environment but also to the wallet. A fire department's natural gas, water, and power expenses can be reduced by purchasing a Dexter energy-efficient washer-extractor. In these days of low budgets, this is a critical purchase factor.

Most fire stations will need to install commercial washers with capacities of 20 pounds, 30 pounds, 40 pounds, or 55 pounds, depending on the volume of laundry.  

Firefighters Grant program - Payment Assistance 

When the US Fire Administration introduced washing equipment to the list of items that may be purchased with Assistance to Firefighters Grant money some years ago, it solved this issue. Manufacturers of laundry equipment have made measures to guarantee that their products meet AFG standards.

dexterfireThe USFA's certification has helped fire stations get access to additional funding opportunities, such as The Heritage Program, a corporate giving program at Fireman's Fund that distributes a percentage of the company's revenues to assist firefighters for safer communities.

Contact Scott Equipment to learn more about how a washer-extractor can help limit exposure to harmful carcinogens and extend the life of your personal protective equipment.