EN 469:2020 sets new requirements on protective clothing for firefighters 


CEN, the European Committee for Standardization, recently published EN 469:2020 ‘Protective clothing for firefighters - Performance requirements for protective clothing for firefighting activities’. The new document, covering Firefighters Protective Clothing, updates a previous version, EN 469:2005, and represents the latest iteration of a standard that continues to attract substantial support from around the European Union and is adopted in many other parts of the world.

As it is the case for all PPE (Practical Protective Equipment), EN 469 sets control measures to protect employees and workers, planning for risks and hazards users might incur into during emergency services. In particular, the revised standard addresses some new physiological and health issues: given that end users (firefighters) find themselves in conditions of extreme temperature, heat and humidity, ensuring a high level of comfort is of the paramount important. To do this, the standard builds upon EN ISO 13506 ‘Manikin test’, which attempts to replicate real conditions, and presents a series of test methods contained within EN 469 that do address these facets.

EN 469:2020 was developed by CEN/TC 162/WG 2 - Resistance to heat and fire of protective clothing. David Matthews, WG2’s Convenor, commented: “The commitment of CEN TC 162 WG2 Delegates should be applauded, with 30+ delegates regularly attending meetings and bringing a wealth of knowledge from the notified bodies, manufacturers and end users’ perspectives. We would welcome more involvement of end users as delegates to CEN TC 162 WG2, as their voice is essential to ensure the committee gets things right!”

Mr Matthews added, “I would like to conclude with a huge thank you to the WG’s Secretary Ivan Rich (Bristol Uniforms Ltd), who retired earlier this year after over a decade in the role, and to Richard Ballheimer (Bristol Uniforms Ltd) who has taken over”.

For more information, please contact Jennifer OGBONNA