Combatting heat stress
Due to the risk of injury or even death that fire fighters face from the effects of heat stress; PPE has been garnering more attention in recent years. Charnaud is constantly searching for new ways to keep fire fighters safe from the external threats that fire fighters face daily while at the same time lessening the impact of heat stress on the body, inside the garment. Fire fighters are exposed to numerous life-threatening dangers, including high temperatures, flames, smoke, hazardous chemicals and unstable structures. Despite these dangers, the physiological strain, specifically cardiovascular strain associated with fire fighting, poses the greatest threat to the life and health of a fire fighter. Thermoregulation is the process that your body uses to regulate the body's temperature and is undertaken naturally by the body in four differing ways:
1. Radiation - when the body is hotter than the surrounding air, heat moves to the cooler environment, even when there is no air movement
2. Conduction - transfer of heat between objects without contact
3. Convection - exchange with the surrounding air and
4. Evaporation - conversion of sweat to vapour
In challenging conditions, such as those encountered during fire fighting, muscular activity generates a higher heat load and the PPE can either restrict heat loss or help reduce the effects of heat stress.
Charnaud‘s Air Lite® Bunker has a lighter and more flexible outer shell that moves with the fire fighter and is an advancement in comfort for the wearer.
In addition to this, Charnaud has developed a unique membrane and thermal barrier which, when coupled with the outer shell, creates a highly breathable ensemble that greatly reduces heat stress.
“The ability for the Air Lite® Bunker to breath means the fire fighter wearing this garment can work harder and for longer, without suffering the effects of heat stress”, said Robin Charnaud.
For more information on the Air Lite® Bunker, or any of the other product ranges, contact the Charnaud office on:
Tel: +27 11 794 6040