This document specifies a method for evaluating the thermo-physiological impact of protective fabric ensembles and potentially protective clothing ensembles in a simulated activity under defined relevant conditions for firefighters.
This document is intended to be used to assess the thermo-physiological impact of protective fabric ensembles and potentially protective clothing ensembles but not the risk for heat stress due to actual fire conditions. The results of this test method can be used as elements of characterisation and comparison of thermo-physiological impact of various types of protective fabric ensembles and potentially protective clothing ensembles.
Default measurements are undertaken on fabric samples representing the garment or protective clothing combination. Optionally and in addition to the standard test method, the same testing protocol can be applied to characterise protective clothing ensembles including underwear, air layers and certain design features. In addition measurements on readymade garments are optionally possible.
NOTE The presently used evaluation methods are only validated for structural firefighting garments.
 A study conducted at Empa (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, Switzerland) showed good correlation between results of standard torso tests (without both underwear and air layers on fabrics) to tests on fabrics with underwear, tests on fabrics with underwear and air layers and test on readymade garments (with underwear and with or without air layers) of the same material composition. Due to the different thermal insulation of the systems direct comparison of the results is not possible.