NFPA 1975, Standard on Emergency Services Work Clothing Elements, specifies the requirements for the thermal stability of station wear (garments under bunker gear), which affects the burn protection provided by this apparel. However, we speculate that the fire service is generally unaware of the risk associated with the use of non-certified NFPA garments, including synthetic fabrics, and that firefighters are wearing garments under bunker gear that are putting them at risk to burns and chemical exposure.
To more accurately assess this level of awareness, the Fire Protection Research Foundation is conducting a project that helps clarify what garments are safe for the fire service to wear, and those that present potential risks. As part of our Student Project Initiative, we're working in coordination with Florida State University to collect supporting data. A questionnaire was sent to fire departments across North America, asking firefighters about the station gear they wear, why they choose it, and their awareness of potential risks associated with non-NFPA 1975 certified garments. The university, which is hosting and collecting the data, received over 1,700 responses.
Visit the Research Foundation's project page to learn more about this project, or feel free to contact me with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org