Aim: The purpose if this article is to review manufacturing technologies and simultaneously examine the potential for improving the safety level of firefighting helmets. This paper presents issues associated with the use of carbon foam in the manufacture of shells for protection helmets worn by firefighters. The main part of the article presents an analysis of potential for increasing the level of safety guaranteed by firefighter helmets. The analysis is based on guidelines, which cover minimum requirements for fire protection, defined by the United States, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Introduction: A fundamental review of accessible national and international literature revealed that there is only a small number of sources, which deal directly with the topic exposed in this article. Therefore, details from this study may provide a significant source of information for researchers as well as research institutions interested in the subject of manufacturing technology of protective clothing, including primarily firefighting helmets, with the view of enhancing the guaranteed safety level guaranteed through their use in the Unites States.

Methodology: For the purposes of this study, which bears the attributes of a review article, a fundamental review was carried out of accessible literature dealing directly or indirectly with issues concerning manufacturing technology of protective clothing as well as examine the potential for raising safety levels guaranteed by the use of such clothing. From the literature review, most valuable and appropriate thematic sources were selected and exposed to a content analysis. The analysis allowed for the formulation of key questions, construction of the article and extraction of relevant conclusions.

Conclusions: The article reviewed technologies used in the manufacture of helmets, utilized by firefighters, which contain specific properties and addressed issues concerned with the potential for increasing the safety level guaranteed by firefighting helmets used in the United States. It was found that carbon foam used in the manufacture of helmets may provide the required level of protection to the user against thermal and mechanical influences. In turn, conclusions concerning the likelihood of increasing safety levels, guaranteed by the protective fabric, reveal the existence of significant research potential in the study of impact created by wavelengths of thermal radiation on the thermal resistance of firefighting helmets. Listed conclusions are consistent with norms applicable in the United States and this article facilitates a comparison between United States norms and European ones (PN-EN 443).

Keywords: protection from fires, manufacture, increasing the safety level, helmet

Type of article: review article