Thermal protective uniforms and hoods: Impact of design modifications and water content on burn prevention in New York City firefighters: Laboratory and field results

David J. Prezant, K. S. Malley, R. L. Barker, C. Guerth, K. J. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives - To determine (1) the effectiveness of hoods in reducing head burns, (2) the impact of clothes worn under the protective outer uniform (modern = long sleeve shirt and long pants; modified modern = short sleeve T-shirt and short pants) on burns, and (3) whether water content (dry, damp or saturated) affects the level of thermal protection. Setting - Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY). Methods - Laboratory tests (fully dressed manikin) evaluated the different uniform and water conditions when exposed to an average 24 cal/cm2 heat flux, approximately 2250° F air temperature. FDNY field results compared (1) head burns during winters wearing the hood to winters without hood and (2) upper and lower extremity burns during summers wearing traditional, modern, and modified modern uniforms. Results - Laboratory tests showed that thermal protection was: (1) dramatically improved by the hood with protection increasing as water content increased and (2) not significantly different between modern and modified modern uniforms, regardless of water content. FDNY field results confirmed these tests showing (1) significant decreases in neck burns (by 54%), ear burns (by 60%), and head burn totals (by 46%) wearing the hood and (2) no significant differences in upper or lower extremity burns wearing modern compared with modified modern uniforms. Conclusions - Based on combined laboratory and field results, we strongly recommend the use of modern thermal protective hoods and the modified modern uniform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)i43-i49
JournalInjury Prevention
Volume7
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2001

Keywords

  • Burn prevention
  • Firefighting uniforms
  • Occupational injury
  • Thermal injury evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Thermal protective uniforms and hoods: Impact of design modifications and water content on burn prevention in New York City firefighters: Laboratory and field results'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this