As a firefighter, your task is to handle dangerous situations before they get out of control. Whether it’s putting out a wildlife fire, rescuing victims trapped in a burning building, or moving hazardous debris, you have to get the job done quickly and safely.
Being a firefighter means wearing the right equipment to protect yourself and others. This includes the gloves you wear while on the job. Let’s look at the differences between textile and leather firefighting gloves and see which ones work best for you.
What’s the Purpose of Firefighting Gloves?
Going into a burning building with unprotected hands can result in traumatic injuries. Firefighting gloves protect your hands from cuts, blisters, burns, and scratches. They allow you to get in and out of buildings, move burning debris and materials, and resist punctures or cuts.
Textile vs. Leather Gloves
Textile and leather firefighting gloves have several differences, so let’s look at the two and see which ones are right for you.
Textile Firefighting Gloves
Textile firefighting gloves are lighter than leather gloves, and you can wash them at high temperatures. Along with better water repellency than leather, textile gloves offer protection against impact, extreme heat and cold, breathability, and knuckle protection.
Textile firefighting gloves’ design protects your hands from thermal stressors and offers rigid material and advanced technology. They can withstand oncoming interactions with flashovers, backdrafts, thermal energy transfers, high heat areas, and hot steam or liquid chemicals.
Leather Firefighting Gloves
Leather is one of the most common materials used for firefighting gloves. Leather materials such as goatskin and kangaroo allow maximum breathability, strength, and less water absorbency.
Additionally, leather protects against oil and chemical exposure and feels soft and comfortable. If you’re working in wildlife firefighting, full-gained cowhide suede leather will protect your hands from cuts, scratches, blisters, and minor burns during firefighting.
Which Gloves Are Better?
The best gloves to choose are those built for handling the most challenging and demanding fire and rescue missions. They must withstand extreme heat or cold exposure, metal and glass interaction, and heavy rope abrasion.
Additionally, your firefighter extrication gloves must remain flexible and comfortable to allow dexterity and range of motion for picking up small objects or writing. If you clean them regularly and break them in accordingly, your choice need only be based on preference.
Your firefighting gloves should be comfortable and allow you to get the job done safely. Protecting yourself will enable you to protect others.