Before a “firefighting” helmet is placed on the market and may subsequently be used in different application scenarios, it must be tested and certified according to the standards applicable to the respective country.
The basic idea of standards is to list hazards that can occur during various missions, to evaluate them and to derive test scenarios from them. As a result, helmets that meet these standard requirements offer the user maximum protection.
Rosenbauer has been successfully producing firefighting helmets since 1992 that are used worldwide and, therefore, have to meet a wide variety of standard requirements..
What are the essential standards for firefighting helmets?
Geographically, there are basically three “standard worlds” for firefighting helmets.
NFPA (National Fire Protection Association)
Compliant: HEROS-titan Pro
|NFPA 1971, 2018 edition||Protective Ensembles for structural Fire Fighting and proximity Fire Fighting.|
|ANSI / ISEA Z87.1-2010||American national standard for occupational and educational personal eye and face protection devices|
AS/NZS (Australian/New Zealand Standard)
Compliant: HEROS-titan AS
|AS/NZS 4067:2012 + A1:2014||Protective helmets for structural Fire Fighting|
What are the essential test requirements?
- Penetration resistance: A flat blade striker falls from a height of 2.5 m onto the helmet and must not touch the test head.
- Shock absorption: A 5 kg hemispherical striker falls from a height of 2.5 m five times in a row on the same helmet in different places; the helmet must sufficiently absorb the forces.
- Flame-engulfment: Full flame-engulfment complete helmet system with > 1,000 °C for 10 sec.; no part may afterburn or afterglow for more than 5 sec. Simulates protection, for example, in the event of flashover.
- Transverse and longitudinal deformation: The helmet is loaded longitudinally and transversally with 630 N and may, thereby, deform by max. 40 mm.
- Efficiency of the retention system: Strength of the chin strap and interior fittings is checked.
- Electrical properties: Protection against high voltages is tested, no electrical breakdown at 1,200 volts.
- Protection against chemicals: no visible damage to helmet and visor after exposure to harsh chemicals.
- Face and eye protection: Visors are fired at with 6 mm steel balls at a speed of at least 120 m/sec (432 km/h), no penetration, no breakage.
There are also different pre-treatments for each of these tests, which are carried out immediately before the test. Some of these pre-treatments are listed below:
|High temperatures||Irradiation with a heat source of 14 KW/m² for 8 min. It reaches more than 330 °C on the helmet surface.||Shock-absorption
1 shock / helmet penetration
|Low temperatures||The helmet is “frozen” down to -40 °C for at least 4 hours.||Shock-absorption
5 shocks / helmet
|Moisture||The helmet is completely immersed in water for at least 4 hours.||Shock-absorption|
|UV aging||The helmets are irradiated with a 450 W rated xenon lamp for at least 400 hours.||This pre-treatment takes place for all tests.|
What do I need to keep in mind when purchasing?
The helmets to be procured should always comply with the standards and regulations applicable to each country. Look for proof of certification by an accredited body.Only this ensures that the helmet is tested and certified according to the desired standard
A firefighting helmet for universal use should also be equipped with a certified face shield according to EN 14458 and with an (including with gloves) easily adjustable holding system including chin strap.
How can I tell if and according to which standard the helmet is tested and certified?
Each helmet must have a marking indicating the standard according to which the helmet has been tested and certified and which testing institute has carried out the test / certification (CE number).