ST. PAUL, Minn.--As firefighters’ jobs have evolved, so has their need for high-performance gear that holds up to demanding service calls with extreme conditions. 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material — Series 5600 Fire Coat Comfort Trim is a segmented, stitch-free trim designed for greater flexibility and mobility. NFPA-certified, the new design helps make turnout gear more comfortable to wear.
Traditionally, turnout gear trim has been sewn onto the garments, resulting in an elevated trim that tends to be stiffer and can be prone to snagging, especially in close quarters. Series 5600 Fire Coat Comfort Trim laminates onto fabric, creating a flatter surface with minimal catch-points. Because the reflective material is segmented, it is much more flexible, conforming to the gear’s fabric and the firefighter’s movements. Heavy duty fire coats with Series 5600 Fire Coat Comfort Trim are more flexible even when new.
These new features were designed by 3M to address ongoing requests for gear that helped increase agility, responsiveness and performance during a fire. “The new Series 5600 Fire Coat Comfort Trim is based on what firefighters from around the globe told us they need in the extreme conditions they face – trim that is more flexible and comfortable while retaining the performance in visibility and reflectivity that they’ve come to know and trust from 3M,” said Jennifer Sickmann, global segment marketing manager at 3M.
During product development, 3M performed research and testing with firefighters from nine countries and seven different garment manufacturers, as well as conducted hundreds of interviews. “This isn’t just trim made for firefighters; it’s trim that was developed with their input every step of the way,” Sickmann continued. Testing was performed in a variety of harsh conditions across the globe to validate actual performance. The testing scenarios generally experienced a higher frequency of fires given the rigorous training inherent to an educational environment.
“Fire Chiefs and turnout gear decision makers at fire departments have an important job in specifying gear for their department,” Sickmann said. The new 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material – Series 5600 Fire Coat Comfort Trim provides excellent reflectivity to help keep firefighters visible in low light conditions. “I believe the Series 5600 Fire Coat Comfort Trim will be a popular trim choice because its attributes align with what’s important to firefighters in their gear overall – the need to act nimbly in gear that moves and flexes with them and doesn’t have many catch-points,” she concluded. The new trim comes in NFPA-compliant fluorescent lime-yellow in addition to fluorescent red-orange and meets NFPA heat-related requirements to not melt, drip, separate or ignite.
Turnout gear with Series 5600 Fire Coat Comfort Trim will be on display April 21 – 23 at FDIC International 2016, in the 3M Booth #701. 3M encourages conference attendees to stop by for a hands-on demonstration of this unique trim development. Firefighters and industry professionals can feel in-person the degree to which added flexibility can impact mobility and provide another resource during active fire situations. More information is available online and on Facebook.
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