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Garment Ventilation Strategies for Improving Heat Loss in Structural Firefighter Clothing Ensembles

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The purpose of this research was to evaluate clothing ventilation designs for their ability to reduce heat stress incurred during firefighting activities. Ventilation applications were implemented on structural turnout suits, including both active and passive systems, to determine the benefit of ventilation towards heat loss. A total of five different designs were evaluated on a sweating manikin for thermal and evaporative resistance. From these measurements, a predicted total heat loss (THL) was calculated for each design and compared back to a control suit with no ventilation. A significant improvement in heat loss was measured, specifically, with the maximum open ventilation design. Overall, ventilation designs in structural firefighter turnout gear showed a statistically significant increase in heat loss improvement for the wearer.
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Keywords: COMFORT; FIREFIGHTER; HEAT STRESS; TURNOUT GEAR; VENTILATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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