Performance requirements for wildland firefighting clothing
The EN 15614:2007 standard states the different performance requirements wildland firefighter clothing has to comply with. As forest fires primarily occur in the summer, the radiant heat can be very high for a very long time. Clothing that meets that standard, helps prevent the metabolic heat from becoming too high. The right garments for these conditions have to be light without causing heat stress.
Paragraph 4 of this norm describes the design of the suit. A few examples:
- Fastening systems to avoid the penetration of burning residues
- The collar has to remain upright
- No cuffs in tricot
- A fastening system that bridges the border of the trousers and the boots
- Sleeves with a fastening system.
Paragraph 5 prescribes that the garment has to be washed (at least 5 times) according to the instructions of the manufacturer before certification.
The radiant heat test is defined in paragraph 6.3 by the (EN ISO 6942) with a heat flux of 20kW/m². The fabric or the assembly has to present an RHTI24 that is higher than 11 seconds with a RHTI24-RHTI12 differential of more than 4 seconds.
In addition, all the components, such as badges and fasteners are tested for 5 minutes at a temperature of 180°C according to the (ISO 17493) standard. The sewing thread can't melt at a temperature of 260°C.
The fabrics and the confection also have to respect several mechanical criteria:
- The outer fabric has to present a tensile strength that is higher than 450N (ISO 13934-1) and a tear strength of more than 20N (ISO 13937-2).
- The principal seams also have to offer a resistance of at least 225N (ISO 13935-2).
In addition, to guarantee an excellent comfort, the fabric or the assembly has to have a thermal resistance of ≤ 0,055 m².K/W (EN 31092) and a water vapour resistance of ≤ 10m².Pa/W (EN 31092) for a good breathability.
Finally, the garment has to present at least 0,13m² of retroreflective material (EN 20471) or at least 0,2 m² if the material has combined characteristics.