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NFPA 1851


NFPA 1851 establishes criteria for setting up a program to reduce potential safety and health risks related to poorly maintained, contaminated, or damaged protective ensembles, and ensemble elements manufactured to NFPA 1971.

NFPA 1851

What you should know?

Under the NFPA 1851, fire departments must develop written standard operating procedures that describe the components of the program and define the roles and responsibilities of the organization and its members. Specifically, NFPA 1851 establishes the criteria you need to follow when setting up a program to reduce potential safety and health risks related to poorly maintained, contaminated or damaged protective ensembles and ensemble elements. 

Program components covered by the standard are:

  • Selection
  • Inspection
  • Cleaning and decontamination
  • Repair
  • Storage
  • Retirement
  • Record Keeping


  • Provides documentation on the steps taken by the organization to ensure PPE in service continues to provide sufficient protection
  • Provides detailed information by individual if an injury or LODD occurs

LION inspection


Prior to starting the selection process perform a risk assessment

  • Facilitates comparative evaluation
  • Ensures PPE is suitable for the hazards that are most likely to be encountered by your department

Before purchasing, make sure all ensemble elements properly interface to avoid possible injury or death

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Advanced Inspection

All separable layers, including the moisture barrier, of the garments shall be individually inspected for:

  • Soiling, contamination and physical damage to all layers
  • Loss of moisture barrier integrity
  • Evaluation of fit and coat/trouser overlap
  • Loss of seam integrity, and material integrity
  • Loss of wristlet elasticity, stretching, runs, cuts, or burn holes
  • Reflective trim and label integrity
  • Closure system functionality
  • Liner attachment systems


Advanced Cleaning

  • Performed by the element manufacturer, a manufacturer trained organization, a verified organization, or a verified ISP
  • Gear that is soiled, shall receive advanced cleaning prior to reuse

LION NFPA Cleaning


All repairs shall be performed by the original manufacturer, a verified ISP who has received training, or a member of the organization who has received training.

Step 6: Basic Repair


  • Clean and dry before storage
  • Coats and pants should be hung to limit the damage caused by creasing, and shall not be folded
  • Storage areas should be clean, dry, and well ventilated



  • Structural and proximity fire fighting ensembles and ensemble elements shall be retired no more than 10 years from the date of manufacturing
  • In all cases, the radiant reflective outer shell shall be replaced at a max of 5 years
  • Shall be retired if:
    • Worn or damaged to beyond reasonable repair
    • Not compliant to NFPA standards when manufactured
    • Contaminated, defective, or damaged


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