Proper Turnout Clothing Care

Historically, the dirtier the firefighting gear was, the more seasoned the firefighter was perceived to be. While this may still reign true for many industry professionals, it’s important to properly clean and maintain turnout clothing to protect the longevity of the gear and also keep the firefighter safe. Therefore, in addition to securing your clients with a comprehensive Firefighter General Liability, share the following tips with them.


Both the firefighter and the department are responsible for maintaining the turnout clothing. Firefighters must become familiar with their clothing. This familiarity helps firefighters maintain a sense of awareness when changes have occurred that might affect the clothing’s performance. NFPA 1851 indicates that gear should be inspected after each use and go through an advanced inspection at least once a year. While NFPA 1851 permits the department to determine what constitutes “use,” it is important to carefully examine gear after the firefighter has been exposed to fireground contaminants or encountered other hazardous substances, says Fire Rescue.

Obvious rips and loose seams should be addressed in addition to the thermal layer and moisture barrier. Even if the clothing looks to be in good condition, regular inspection is necessary to keep the firefighter safe.


Dirty gear carries less insulation, is more likely to conduct heat and electricity, lacks liquid shedding properties, and can become potentially flammable, says the article. Routine cleaning should be completed after it has been soiled, while advanced cleaning should be done less frequently and requires machine washing. Be sure to wash these items gently in a front-loading machine to avoid top-loading agitators.


Keep gear away from direct sunlight and in a well-ventilated space. Never store this gear at home, always keep it at the firehouse instead.

About Provident Fire Plus

At Provident Fire Plus, we understand the risks that volunteer firefighting departments face on a regular basis. Our unique underwriting goes beyond what is typically included in insurance policies, extending coverage to commercial autos, line of duty protection, damage to third party property, and more. For more information about our comprehensive policies and how we can work for your clients, contact us today at (855) 201-8880.