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NFPA 1851-2020 Advanced Cleaning and Inspection Training for HAIX Footwear

NFPA 1851 is the standard that specifies the minimum selection, care, and maintenance requirements for structural fire fighting protective ensembles and the individual ensemble elements, including footwear. This standard establishes a program in order to reduce the safety risks and potential health risks associated with poorly maintained, contaminated, or damaged protective ensembles or ensemble elements.

Boots should be in overall good serviceable working condition. After each use, the end user or individual firefighter is responsible for the routine inspection of his/her HAIX footwear. Universal precautions should be used if deemed appropriate when handling their HAIX footwear. Footwear elements should be inspected for the following:

  • Soiling
  • Soles of boots should be checked for cuts, tears, punctures, burns, or worn down tread
  • The boot itself should also be checked for cuts, tears, punctures, or burns to the leather
  • Check the liner for an intact NFPA 1971-2007 structural firefighting tag
  • Check stitching, eyelets, laces, and straps for tearing, ripping, burns, or fraying
  • Check boots for loss of water resistance
  • Check the closure system for damage or functionality
  • Check for loss of seam integrity and broken or missing stitches
  • Check for an exposed or deformed steel toe, steel midsole, or shank

At a minimum of every 12 months, or when indicated by a problem in the routine inspection, an advanced inspection of HAIX footwear should be conducted by a verified ISP or the organization’s trained personnel. All findings should be documented on an inspection form. Universal precautions should be followed while doing advanced inspections. Footwear elements should be inspected on a clean surface in a brightly lit area for the following:

  • Soiling
  • Contamination
  • Cuts, tears, punctures, splitting, cracking, burns, thin spots, embrittlement of leather layer, rubber toe cap or soles
  • Loss of seam integrity, delamination, or broken or missing stitches
  • Exposed or deformed steel toe, steel midsole, or shank
  • Thermal damage (charring, burn holes, melting, or discoloration of any layer)
  • Loss of water resistance
  • Closure system component damage or functionality
  • Excessive tread wear
  • Heel counter failure
  • Inspect the lining for tears, excessive wear, or excessive separation from the outer layer

When cleaning, Universal Precautions should be observed when applicable. Routine cleaning is the responsibility of the end user. Hand wash HAIX footwear in a utility sink with warm water and a wet shoe brush or other soft brush. Do not use heavy abrasion or scrubbing. Do not use saddle soaps or soaps that contain fats. Do not use bleach or chlorinated detergents as even small amounts of chlorine will reduce the protective qualities. Do not use detergent, mild dish soap is recommended. Use water less then 110 degrees F. The removable insole can be removed and washed in a washing machine in cold water on delicate. Air-dry the insoles.

Air-dry your footwear, removing the insole. Drying racks provide maximum air exposure and reduce drying time. Do not dry footwear in direct/indirect sunlight or fluorescent light. Do not machine dry. Do not dry in front of open windows, hot ovens, or radiators. Dry slowly.

Maintain the exterior leather footwear with a professional grade silicone based polish. Petroleum based products may be flammable and may significantly reduce the flame or heat resistance of your footwear.

Always clean your HAIX footwear separately from other items. Never clean footwear at home or at public laundry facilities to avoid the spread of chemical contamination or other hazardous combustion products. If footwear fails to be sufficiently clean after routine cleaning, the footwear shall receive advanced cleaning.

Advanced cleaning shall only be performed by a verified ISP or the organization’s trained personnel. HAIX footwear shall receive advanced cleaning at the time of advance inspection if not subjected to advanced cleaning in the last 12 months. HAIX recommends cleaning footwear at least every 6 months or as soon as possible after contamination or exposure to smoke, blood or body fluids, hazardous substances or hazardous liquid chemicals. Disinfectants should be approved by and registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and shall be registered as a tuberculocidal. Disinfectants should be non-toxic and non-flammable.

Any repair made to HAIX footwear should only be done at a HAIX North America Authorized Repair Center. Unauthorized repairs made to footwear invalidates all warranties and may expose wearer to hazardous or life threatening conditions. Before any repair is to be made, footwear should be cleaned, decontaminated, and disinfected.

Between incidents, and for longer-term storage, store your footwear out of direct sunlight and indirect sunlight, fluorescent light and away from sharp objects. Exposure to light (particularly sunlight and fluorescent light) will severely weaken and damage components such as moisture barriers, NOMEX laces and thread in your footwear after only a few days. Damage caused by exposure to light cannot be repaired and will not be covered by warranty.

Use fans indirectly to provide good ventilation to dry footwear that may have absorbed water or sweat after a run. Moisture in your footwear reduces your insulation, comfort, and overall protection during structural firefighting operations.

Failure to dry your footwear will result in growth of mildew and bacteria which could lead to skin irritation, rashes, or may affect the protective qualities of the footwear.

Always clean and dry your footwear in accordance with the guidelines given previously before placing in long-term storage. Avoid storing your footwear in temperature extremes. Repeated cycles of heating and cooling can reduce the protective qualities and useful life of the footwear.

Never store your footwear in living quarters with personal belongings or within the passenger compartment of a vehicle.

Useful life is the period of time that NFPA compliant footwear, which has been properly used and cared for, can be expected to provide reasonable protection. Useful life is normally 3 years depending upon boot construction and the conditions of wear, maintenance, and storage. It is highly unlikely to be more than 5 years. As a general rule, footwear should be retired when the costs of repair exceed 50% of replacement costs. Useful life will vary according to type and frequency of use, the weight, and they type of materials use in the footwear. However, footwear more than 5 years old and made to earlier NFPA standards are highly likely to have exceeded its useful life and should be retired.

The following factors affect the useful life of your footwear:

  • Age and frequency of use
  • Number and type of previous repairs
  • Type of work the wearer performed
  • The length of exposure to extreme heat and the intensity of the heat
  • The length of exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • The length of exposure to direct or indirect sunlight or other light sources such as fluorescent light
  • Footwear more than 5 years old
  • Damage caused by use of non-authorized replacement parts
  • Replacement of zippers worn improperly, incompletely zipped or damaged by heavy wear and tear
  • Damage or wear to inner or outer heel area in zipper style boots without proper closure of zippers
  • Damage to inner liner by donning and doffing zipper footwear without properly opening the zipper
  • Footwear not properly cleaned or polished

Retired uncontaminated footwear must be destroyed to prevent its unauthorized or mistaken use. Cut the uncontaminated, retired footwear into pieces and dispose of properly such as in a landfill.

Retired footwear that is contaminated with blood or body fluids or hazardous chemicals should be placed in a plastic bag and properly disposed of according to federal, state, and local regulations. Never use retired footwear for training purposes. Use of retired footwear in hazardous situations could result in serious injury.

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