Open Access Review Article

Function Design of Firefighting Personal Protective Equipment: A Systematic Review

Md Mayedul Islam and Yingying Wu*

Department of Interior Design and Fashion Studies, Kansas State University, USA

Corresponding Author

Received Date: September 14, 2020;  Published Date: September 25, 2020


Firefighting is a hazardous occupation. It has a variety of risks associated with fatal and non-fatal injuries. To protect against heat and unsafe environment, firefighters wear personal protective equipment (PPE), including self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), boots, helmet, and thermal protective clothing, including coat, pants, hood, and gloves. To obtain knowledge of injuries and issues related to the functional design of firefighting PPE, especially firefighting PPE for female firefighters, a systematic review of related literature in related disciplines was conducted. It was found heavy and bulky turnout ensemble and inappropriate sizing system are the two dominant barriers to effective and efficient firefighting performance. Also, research on female firefighters’ PPE is limited but highly demanded. Therefore, this review provides insights for improving the design, fit, and functionality of future PPE. In particular, it summarizes the design and sizing issues of existing PPE products, thus providing a valuable guide to the industry in improving future functional design and production of PPE. It also identifies critical knowledge gaps of firefighting PPE and specified future research opportunities, such as improving the design of firefighter PPE based on gender, height, age, and the category of firefighters.

Keywords: Firefighting; Personal protective equipment; Female firefighters; Functional design; Injuries; Safety; Performance

Abbreviations: PPE: Personal Protective Equipment; SCBA: Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus; NFPA: National Fire Protection Association; FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency

Signup for Newsletter
Scroll to Top