Optimising the number of layers in firefighters' hoods

Jim House, J. Squire, R. Staples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To optimise protection from fire afforded to the head, an investigation into layering of firefighters' hoods was undertaken. Hoods made from 1 to 4 layers of Kermel/FR Viscose (50 per cent blend) were flame challenged for up to 10 seconds (53?kW?m-2 to 85?kW?m-2) on a manikin head. Protection was increased with more layers. After four seconds of flame it was predicted that 74 per cent of the head suffered 2° or 3° burns with a 1-ply hood. This fell to 59 per cent and 45 per cent respectively, when a breathing apparatus mask and helmet were also worn. For a 4-ply hood corresponding predicted burns fell to 13 per cent, 8 per cent and & 8 per cent. Between 50 per cent to 67 per cent of these reductions occurred using a 2-ply hood, and 80 per cent with 3-ply. In conclusion, the most appropriate benefit was gained by adopting a 2-ply hood. Three or more layers interfered with helmet fitting and communications, and offered little increased benefit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Clothing Science and Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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