Firefighter gear requires proper washing in order to remove contaminants and reduce firefighter's exposure to carcinogens. Experts recommend cleaning turnout gear with washer extractors-commercial grade laundry machines that are designed to effectively remove soot, chemicals, and even bodily fluids from soiled gear while preserving its protective qualities.
Here are just a few of the specific benefits of using washer extractors instead of residential or other types of washing machines when cleaning firefighter gear.
Ease of Use
Most washer extractors feature simple one-touch operation. Simply select a cycle, and the extractor will calculate the optimal cycle time, water temperature, and detergents to ensure proper cleaning of your gear. At AAdvantage Laundry Systems, you'll find a range of Dexter and Continental Gibrau machines with easy programming functions that ensure consistent cleaning results. These washers also allow for automatic chemical injection, thereby reducing the risk of damage to your gear by overuse of detergents.
Compliance with NFPA Requirements
The National Fire Protection Association requires that fire protection gear be cleaned according to specific standards. These standards are regularly updated as new protective fabrics are developed. The washer extractors at AAdvantage Laundry Systems meet or exceed the following NFPA washing requirements:
- The machines must be front loading
- They must have a maximum water temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit
- Use a pH neutral cleaner
- Requires a 100 G-Force maximum, and
- Forced ventilation air
Firefighters' boots, gloves, masks, and self-contained breathing apparatuses need to be laundered according to precise manufacturers' guidelines in order to prevent damage. Our washer extractors allow you to choose from different programmable cycles that allow you to wash a variety of items according to NFPA personal protective equipment (PPE) cleaning standards.
Reduced Health Risks
Burning materials produce carcinogens that can significantly increase a firefighter's risk of developing cancers of the brain, skin, colon, prostate, and stomach. Some residential washing machines may be too harsh for protective fabrics, while others may not be powerful enough to effectively remove carcinogens.
Using a washer extractor eliminates the guessing game and limits the spread of potentially life-threatening contaminants. Simply toss your equipment into the washer extractor, add your pH neutral cleaner, select the desired preset cycle, and push start.
A washer extractor offers up to 30 times the capacity of a residential washing machine. This larger capacity, combined with high-speed centrifugal spinning force, translates to less time spent washing and drying personal protective equipment (PPE).
Safety and Protection are our Top Concerns
A careful approach must be taken when cleaning firefighter gear in order to ensure thorough decontamination and to maintain the integrity of protective fabrics. Our team of commercial laundry professionals can help you find the right washer extractor for your needs.
Contact AAdvantage Laundry Systems to learn more about how a washer extractor can help limit exposure to harmful carcinogens and extend the life of your personal protective equipment.