Predicting the impact of a design change from modern to modified modern firefighting uniforms on burn injuries using manikin fire tests

David J. Prezant, Roger L. Barker, Malcolm Bender, Kerry J. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

The major difference between traditional and modern uniforms is that modern uniforms include both protective over-coat and over-pant while traditional uniforms include only the over-coat. Modern uniforms are also manufactured using improved thermal protective textiles. Unfortunately, due to the modern uniform's increased thermal insulation, the long sleeve shirt and long pants worn underneath now rapidly become sweat drenched and restrictive to motion with a resulting decrease in comfort and work capacity. In response, Fire Department of New York (FDNY) has considered a design modification that substitutes a short sleeve T-shirt and short pants under the protective garments. Our aim was to predict, prior to field testing, the impact of this modified modern uniform on burn injuries. Using the PyroMan Thermal Protective Clothing Analysis System, a thermally instrumented manikin that allows for assessment of burn injuries under realistic "wear and fit" conditions during a flash fire exposure, we compared burn injury scores (location and severity) while wearing FDNY modern and modified modern uniforms. No significant differences were found between uniforms. This provides reasonable assurance that field testing can proceed without undue safety concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-232
Number of pages9
JournalASTM Special Technical Publication
Issue number1386
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

Keywords

  • Firefighting uniforms
  • Instrumented manikin
  • Thermal protective performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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