A firefighter operates with the same gear for around eight years, so it is vital that it continues to deliver consistent levels of performance throughout the lifetime of the garment.

That is easier said than done, given the clothing will be exposed to some of the most extreme conditions such as intense heat, smoke, chemicals, liquids and high abrasion in environments that can impact wear. Improved awareness of the risks posed by particulates has led to garments being washed much more often, which means that they must be more durable than ever.

For over 30 years GORE-TEX Moisture Barriers have been proven to deliver lifetime performance in firefighter PPE and continue to be the first choice for most fire services around the world. That is because each product is designed to meet the specific demands of the increasingly challenging environment throughout the operational lifetime of the garment.

The company’s range of waterproof, breathable moisture barriers are incorporated into structural firefighting kit, search and rescue gear, as well as footwear, gloves and wildland PPE. They play a critical role in managing the risk of heat stress and providing head to toe protection from fire, blood pathogens, chemicals and particulates while keeping the wearer dry from inside and out.

Gore’s investment in rigorous quality assurance has resulted in a range of durable, high performing products that include GORE-TEX Moisture Barriers with GORE® CROSSTECH® Product Technology as well as the revolutionary GORE® PARALLON® System.

The company’s test labs are comparable to those used in many of the independent institutes. Gore has also developed specific test methods where previously no standardised tests existed.

Biophysics and Flame Protection labs allow Gore engineers to measure the properties of component materials, Gore laminates and fully constructed garments, as well as footwear.

The company’s Environmental Chamber can recreate up to 95 per cent of the environments on the earth’s surface. The Heat and Flame Protection lab allows Gore to precisely measure and analyse the ability of its products to provide the three key elements of burn protection: flame resistance, thermal insulation, and thermal stability.

All Gore technical fire fabrics comfortably exceed International PPE performance standards including EN469, ASNZ4967 and the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100, as well as NFPA 1951, 1999 and 1971.

Gore only partners with garment suppliers who can guarantee a total quality approach throughout the manufacturing process. Companies that make garments with GORE-TEX products must comply with Gore Manufacturing Standards. These standards require that the manufacturer adheres to specific quality levels for production environments, processes and machinery used in the manufacturing process.

Regular site tests ensure that the manufacturer achieves consistently high quality and samples are regularly taken from the production line for comparison against the original prototype garments. This is to ensure stability and performance throughout the lifetime of the garment.

Gore’s stringent process for quality assurance ensures that buyers who specify GORE-TEX Moisture Barriers do so with absolute confidence in the garment’s integrity for its entire operational lifetime.