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What are the best practice’s to help reduce firefighter risk?

reduce firefighter risk

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The role of a firefighter has never been more challenging. Some of these challenges are because of climate change with firefighters called out to incidents of flooding, wildfires and other natural disasters, but others are as a result of the changes in the fabric of our own lives.

Recently, the fire service industry has become aware of long-term health and safety risks inherent in the fire service profession, including indications of higher incidence rates of cancers and other malignancies believed to stem from occupational exposure. While it is impossible to precisely discern the causes of long-term malignancies, it is now generally accepted that firefighting is linked to long-term health hazards, which is believed to be connected to exposure to unknown chemicals and constituents released during the fire.


Industry organisations and leaders are making a push to raise awareness about these risks and have suggested several best practices by which firefighters can help to reduce their risk. Firefighters must properly wear the best protective gear, and, more importantly, maintain, clean and disinfect it.

How does MSA Safety address that topic to the Firefighter community?

For many fire departments, garment cleaning and maintenance already has an established protocol, with many brigades working with garment suppliers who provide a full-service solution for regular repair and maintenance. However, there has been a strong culture that says,“The dirtier the kit the more of a hero the firefighter!”. There’s a growing realisation that actually, the dirtier the kit, the greater the risk of exposure to harm. In some regions, the culture is changing with firefighters having a better understanding of the risk and demanding a clear set of guidelines to help them safely wear, remove and decontaminate or clean their kit.

2-ISJ- What are the best practice's to help reduce firefighter risk?MSA Safety is working with its customers to provide a “head to toe” recommendation on cleaning and disinfection of its flagship products, such as SCBA and Fire Helmets. As a trusted advisor to brigades all over the world, MSA has established a set of recommended guidelines on cleaning and disinfection available in the product manuals.

Cleanability is now a key focus for all new product development. MSA is helping to advise its customers of industry-accepted cleaning and disinfecting processes and procedures in an effort to help maintain firefighters’ equipment and protect it from damage caused by cleaning agents or the cleaning methods themselves.

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