Prior to cleaning your gear, it needs to be fully inspected. You need to make sure that there are no rips, tears, or loose seams or threads that may become worse while being cleaned.
You also need to inspect the pockets to make sure that they are completely empty. Hose wrenches, knives, pens, and even notebooks can damage the gear or the washing machine if left in the pockets during the wash process.
Before washing, you need to separate the liners from the shells of both the jackets and pants. This is done by undoing the snaps at the sleeve, leg, neck, waist, and zipper edges. Remove the DRD (Drag Rescue Device).
Turn the liners inside out, and fasten all closures (zippers, snaps, and especially velcro). This helps avoid catching and snagging while being laundered.
Wash the pant and coat liners together, separate from any other gear that may have been exposed to smoke and other contaminants, including gloves, balaclava, and helmet liner. These items can be included with the shells for the coat and pants.
ONLY WASH TURNOUT GEAR IN THE MACHINE AT THE FIREHALL.
There is special turnout gear detergent located on top of the washing machine.
Set the machine to wash with warm water and full rinse cycle. DO NOT USE BLEACH OR FABRIC SOFTENER. Do not over-fill the machine.
Do not leave your gear sitting wet in the machine after the wash cycle is finished.
The best option for drying your turnout gear is to lay it flat in the hose dryer. Put each item on its own tray to maximize airflow across all the gear.
If there is no room in the dryer, the gear can be hung to dry in an area with good airflow. If using the hooks on the wall in Tender 51's bay, use the box fan to ensure air movement across the gear.
After all the items are dry, you will need to put it all back together. Remember that the liners were turned inside out.
If your coat is equipped with one, make sure the DRD strap is put back in properly.
Make sure to reconnect all snaps, including at the arm and leg openings.
Put all equipment and tools back into the pockets before putting your gear back into service.
- Wash your gear with warm water, and a full rinse cycle.
- Wash your gear with cold water, and rinse is not important.
- Wash the coat liner and shell together as one load, pants shell and liner as a load, and gloves, balaclava and helmet liner as another load.
- Wash the pant and coat liners separately from any other gear which may have been exposed to contaminants including smoke. The shells can be washed with other gear including gloves, balaclava, and helmet liner.