Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Retailing and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth P. Easter


The purpose of this research was to perform a post-use evaluation of retired firefighter turnout gear. Garments were categorized as 10-12 years old, 13-17 years old and 18-21 years old. Inspection and test procedures required by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1851 and NFPA 1971 were followed to determine if the current recommended 10 year wear life (retirement age) is appropriate. Testing included a visual inspection (closure system functionality, light evaluation, leakage evaluation and flashlight test) and performance properties (Thermal Protective Performance (TPP), flammability, breaking strength, tear strength, seam strength and water penetration) completed on 108 garments. Ten-year retirement, care, and use were criteria evaluated. The results confirm the flashlight test allows the firefighter to effectively evaluate trim reflectance on their turnout gear according to NFPA 1851. The leakage tests were not replicated by the water penetration tests. Based on the results of this study, the advanced visual inspection and light evaluation confirm the recommended retirement age of a garment that was at least ten years from manufacture date.