PPE Helpline

Your most frequently asked questions answered here

Our technical and sales teams monitor the types of information we are asked to provide. In this section we set out brief answers to many of the most frequently asked questions and cover a range of technical and commercial subjects. This can often save time. If, however, the answers provided don’t fully meet your needs, or you have other specific questions, our staff will be happy to help you. In the first instance, please email any questions you may have to ppehelpline@bristoluniforms.com

How can we ensure that garments will fit correctly?

Over many years experience a range of sizes for both male and female firefighters has been developed taking account of different body sizes and shapes in different countries of the world. The standard size range will normally meet the vast majority of these needs. Where sizing needs fall outside the standard dimensional ranges, a special sizing service is available. 

Does washing a PPE garment in any way adversely affect its performance?

No, providing the washing conditions specified by the manufacturer are strictly adhered to. 

Are there any circumstances under which we can carry out our own repairs to damaged garments?

Repair instructions and recommendations are available from Bristol Care which make it possible for some basic repairs to be carried out by the garment’s wearer. 

How do we care for our PPE garments?

Under the 1992 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations the requirements in relation to the provision, use, maintenance and storage of PPE are specified and the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 place the responsibility for this on employers. 

How can we prolong the useful life of our fire garments?

By adopting an accredited care programme providing lifelong maintenance. As with most things, the better they are cared for the longer they will last. In the case of PPE this essentially means ensuring that whenever a garment is physically damaged or when it is exposed to prolonged or severe conditions it is carefully examined by qualified staff to identify and rectify any damage or risks to its performance integrity. Early detection and rectification can substantially extend service life. 

What service life can we expect from Bristol PPE garments?

This very much depends on the amount of exposure to which firefighting clothing is subjected. However, a typical expected service life of 5 years would be a good average under typical operational conditions. 

How does the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) specification differ from the European standard EN469?

Principally in the way the test measurements are taken and in some small variations in the shrinkage allowed in operational and cleaning environments.

For a full comparison of the these two standards and others used around the world please refer to International Performance Requirements. 

What standards are Bristol Uniforms’ PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and firefighting clothing manufactured to?

As a global supplier of firefighting kit, Bristol Uniforms designs and manufactures a range of styles which meet all major internationally recognised performance requirements and standards.

The 3 major standards to which all firefighter clothing throughout the world is manufactured to are ISO 11613 (Parts A & B), European Standard EN 469 and USA standard NFPA 1971/2007.

I have seen comment recently on the effects of heat stress on firefighters arising from prolonged wearing of firefighting clothing. How can we minimise the impact and effects of heat stress through our choice of fire kit styles?

Developments in fabric technology and innovative garment design have made it possible to offer lighter weight coats and trousers which have been shown in user trials to reduce the impact of heat stress whilst maintaining the level of protection for the wearer against external hazards. Bristol Uniforms is at the forefront of such work and a range of ergonomic, lightweight PPE is available in the Ergotech™, Classic, Jaguar and Wessex ranges.

What are the benefits of the different styles Bristol offer?

Alternative styles are designed to provide different combinations of weight, comfort and flexibility for the wearer under different operational conditions.

For more information on the emphasis of the various options visit the pages devoted to each style as listed above. 

I have seen a number of different coloured firefighters’ garments in different styles. What options are available in terms of style, colour and fabrics?

Bristol designs and manufactures a range of garment options to meet a wide variety of needs. Style and fabric combinations affect the wearer comfort and operational performance of fire kit. Colour is discretionary and depends upon individual choice. 

How do I go about purchasing suitable fire kit from Bristol Uniforms?

Carry out a risk assessment by identifying the primary purpose for which your PPE will be used and the operational conditions to which it will be subjected, together with the level of protection required. Then look through our product ranges (under products) and their descriptions to find the characteristics which most closely meet your needs.

Then contact one of our sales service team to discuss your needs in greater detail to enable us to provide you with a PPE proposal. 

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