Working as a firefighter can be a dangerous career.
When firefighters are out there rescuing and saving so many other people’s lives and homes, they are also putting themselves into harm’s way.
With fires that burn over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and road accidents that include harmful shards of glass and metal, firefighters need the best equipment and clothing possible to protect them from cuts and burns.
Without the proper equipment, firefighters may end up hurting themselves while they are out rescuing others and some of these injuries can be very serious.
It’s bad enough if they cut their hand while attending to an incident, but that cut can grow worse and become infected, leaving the firefighter vulnerable to a bunch of other issues - sepsis, illness, and perhaps even amputation, all from one avoidable injury.
And how does a firefighter avoid such injuries?
By wearing NFPA compliant clothing such as gloves.
Gloves are a part of the protective clothing worn by a lot of first responders, including firefighters. They protect against burns, cuts, and even waterborne diseases so the firefighter does not have to worry about injuring themself while trying to help others.
However, firefighters can be misled and purchase the wrong kind of glove that does not meet NFPA standards. Wearing gloves that are not appropriate puts the firefighter at even more risk if they go into a burning building believing that the gloves they are wearing are fire proof when in fact they’re not.
To avoid this issue, we have found five kinds of gloves that are NFPA compliant and also come with a bunch of added features and bonuses that further benefit firefighters.
If you are in need of a pair of gloves that will protect you while you are working as a firefighter, then here are five of the best NFPA compliant gloves available for you to consider purchasing.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
Professional by name, professional by nature.
The Intra-FIT Professional Firefighter Glove is the perfect glove for safety and protection while battling fires.
They are high quality gloves made from eversoft cowhide and modacrylic liner, making this glove resistant to flames and heat - although, that inner layer has been known to shed a lot of lint.
The palm is also reinforced to give you extra protection, especially against any rope burns you may get from handling so much rope and tying so many knots.
These gloves are also NFPA approved so they will definitely give you the amount of protection necessary to keep you safe in emergency situations.
This glove is also waterproof, keeping your hands dry and safe from any water borne germs and bacteria.
They come in a variety of sizes so you are able to find the fit that best suits you, and is even designed with an elastic cuff to ensure this glove will fit snugly to your hands and reduce the risk of catching onto any hidden snags.
There is also a leather tab attached, making it even easier for you to pull those gloves on and get to work, saving you precious seconds.
For a glove that fits and covers all the requirements you need to do your job without hesitation or worry, then consider buying the Intra-FIT Professional Firefighter Glove. It’s perfect not only for your safety and protection, but for your comfort as well.
- Reinforced palm for extra protection against hazards.
- Attached tab to make donning and removing the gloves quicker and easier.
- Waterproof to protect against water borne germs and disease.
- Inner layer sheds a lot of lint during use.
For a pair of firefighting gloves that are durable and high quality, consider buying Dragon Fire Alpha X’s firefighting gloves.
These gloves are made with both cow and goat leather, allowing the glove to have very little break-in time so you can get used to their feel in no time, although it may be worth sizing up just for the perfect fit.
Once you have sized up, these gloves also offer great dexterity, allowing you to move your hands whichever way you want, without having to sacrifice safety or protection features.
The palm is reinforced for extra protection, and with improved cut and tear strength to reduce the risk of any wounds.
Also, the NFPA approval means that you are also protected against heat and flames, allowing you to tackle that fire without the worry of burning your hands - making the Dragon Fire Alpha X firefighting gloves perfect for firefighters everywhere.
As an added bonus, Dragon Fire is known for their excellent customer service so if there is an unfortunate issue with your new pair of firefighting gloves, then do not hesitate to get in touch with them.
They are quick to reply and willing to help you receive the best possible product from their company.
- Great dexterity and movement.
- Reinforced protection from wounds.
- Excellent company customer service.
- Snug design means buyers should size up for absolute comfort.
Pro-Tech 8 are known for making some great firefighting gloves, and put the effort and research into finding the areas on a firefighter’s hand that require the most attention and protection.
Their Titan PRO structural firefighting glove is designed with safety as its top priority. Of course, it complies with NFPA standards and so is flame resistant and waterproof, but also features extra design components that make these especially protective.
There is a unique knuckle guard built with seven layers to protect the buyer’s knuckles from heat, flames, cuts, and wounds. It is still flexible to allow for dexterity, meaning that this extra protective feature does not come at the expense of freedom of movement.
Pro-Tech understands that firefighters need ease of movement as well as protection in the more vulnerable areas of the hand, so for enhanced dexterity in their gloves, they have also cut and sewn the ring and middle fingers’ palm sides independently.
This means you can move your hands and fingers without being restricted by material and stitching - an incredibly useful feature to have in a firefighter’s glove.
Breathable and comfortable, these gloves also come with a leather pull tab for ease of use as well so this firefighting glove seems to have it all - including the hefty price tag.
- Extra protection in the form of a multilayered knuckle guard.
- Enhanced dexterity.
- NFPA approved.
- One of the more expensive firefighting gloves.
For an inexpensive but built to last firefighting glove, then look no further than HySafety’s firefighting gloves.
These gloves are made using premium grade cowhide, making them flame retardant and heat resistant for firefighting use.
They are also reinforced at the palm with extra cowhide for extra added protection against burns. This material is durable, ensuring that these gloves will last you a long time even after some heavy duty.
As for the inner lining, while soft and comfortable, can sometimes pull out when you remove the gloves - it’s not a big deal, but having to stuff the lining back in can become a nuisance .
But this glove is more than just leather - it also features a breathable moisture barrier to keep your hands dry for optimum comfort.
As firefighters’ job often requires them to work around water as much as fire (this is what they use to put out most fires, after all), then it is recommended to have a waterproof glove that protects your hands against frequent exposure to moisture.
If you want a firefighting glove that protects you against more than one element, then try Hysafety’s firefighting gloves.
They are created using the best materials and are designed for ultimate protection and long use, making these one of the most durable firefighting gloves available.
- Created from premium cowhide.
- Waterproof and features a breathable moisture barrier.
- Heavy duty, and long lasting.
- Inner lining often comes out when removing the gloves, sometimes being a nuisance.
Pro-Tech 8 is back on the firefighting glove scene with this specially designed glove that is perfect for firefighters who work with wildland fires more than any other kind.
This extremely thick glove is not only NFPA approved but is also made from full grain cowhide leather on its outer layer. This makes your gloves able to resist cracking, peeling, and stiffening so you can get a lot of use out of one pair.
The Pro-Tech 8 Wildfire Firefighter Glove is also made of modacrylic components in the inner liner. Combine this with the leather on the other layer, meaning that it can withstand flame and heat with no issue.
It is also resistant to a number of other hazards related to structural firefighting, including vapor, liquids, and sharp objects.
What makes this glove especially adept to wildfire fighting, is the modacrylic liner that also provides thermal protection and features moisture wicking capabilities.
This keeps your hands from growing cold or damp while you spend a lot of time outside battling fires, and chases off any health related issues.
Although this glove may be too thick for some firefighters’ tastes, it is still extremely flexible and comfortable - reducing hand fatigue during the long hours you will be spending on the scene of emergencies.
All in all, the Pro-Tech 8 Wildfire Firefighting Glove is designed for long use and comfort while not compromising on your safety. If you spend most of your time fighting wildfires, then you should certainly give this glove some of your consideration.
- Cracking and peeling resistant for a long life.
- Comfortable and warm to wear for long periods of time.
- Protective against structural firefighting hazards.
- Thick layering may be too restrictive for some firefighters’ tastes.
Best Firefighting Gloves With NFPA Compliance Buying Guide
Gloves come in all different sizes and materials, and so - firefighting gloves are no different. There are many different kinds of firefighting gloves available all with different advantages depending on the material they are made from or how fitted they are designed.
The market is full of so many different brands and makes, and it is easy to confuse firefighting gloves with gloves that are better for grilling or bonfires.
If you want to find the right pair of gloves for firefighting, then there are a few qualities you will need to have for the perfect pair - but first, they need to meet the standards of the NFPA.
What Is The NFPA
NFPA stands for ‘National Fire Protection Association’ and it is one of the oldest nonprofit organizations devoted to protecting lives during accidents.
The NFPA was established in 1896, well over a century ago, and is dedicated to delivering information and knowledge to thousands across the world regarding fires and related hazards.
It all began when a committee formed by fire insurance companies created a standard for the design and installation of fire sprinklers to help plumbers across the US, as there were nine different standards in effect at the time.
The committee then formed the NFPA, and began to develop standards and code designed to minimize the possibility of fire and its effects.
Their codes and standards are upheld across the United States and even some parts of the world. Now, there are 300 NFPA standards and codes in effect that reduce the possibility of fires through creating a criteria for designing, processing, building, installation and service.
The NFPA’s codes and standards are finalized after fire data analysis and research, so these codes and standards tackle issues surrounding and help prevent their occurrence. Such issues can range from the training of first responders to the uniform they wear.
Chimneys, fireplaces, fire doors, water supplies, hoses, storing pesticides - everything and anything that is related to fires has a standard to be upheld to to keep fires occurring at a minimum and to ensure all firefighters have the best supplies available to fight the fires efficiently.
The NFPA does not stop there, however. They also help educate the public with annual campaigns to eliminate further risks of fire occurrence and programs in communities to encourage local solutions for wildfire safety involving homeowners and developers. Their goal is to prevent deaths and losses due to fires, and the NFPA is completely devoted to doing so.
As such, a lot of the NFPA’s codes and standards are upheld by firefighters and their departments. To become a firefighter, you must meet their standards by passing all of the necessary training through tests and exams.
Then, once you are a certified firefighter, you must keep upholding these standards through your equipment, uniform, and further training. If you do not comply with the NFPA’s codes and standards, then you can no longer be a firefighter.
NFPA Standards For Firefighter Gloves
Just like with everything else related to fire and fire hazards, the NFPA also has standards in place for the gloves you can wear as a firefighter. These standards are in place to protect firefighters so they know that they are purchasing gloves that will protect them when they are doing their dangerous duties.
As firefighters deal with a lot of hazards like intense flames, water, and heat, they need strong gloves with the right features and attributes that will keep them safe at the scene of an emergency.
While these standards concerning firefighter gloves are always being updated, the latest edition of the NFPA 1971 Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting covers the standards that fire fighting personnel must meet with their uniforms.
The standard establishes the absolute minimum requirements needed for protection from thermal, physical, and environmental hazards firefighters may encounter when they perform their tasks and duties during an emergency.
This standard not only covers gloves but every part of a firefighter’s ensemble - from their helmets right down to their boots - in order to protect firefighters.
In 2018, an update was added to the NFPA 1971 standard to ensure firefighters were provided with even more protection.
While protective equipment had to be flame and heat resistant as standard, the NFPA now included a moisture barrier to the standards for loves, resisting liquid borne or blood borne pathogens that could pose as a potential harm to firefighters.
Back-of-Hand protection was also now a performance requirement, increasing the thermal protection for firefighters as the back of the hand is more exposed when clenching a tool or hose.
This is why it is so important for firefighters to have gloves that meet the NFPA standard. Not only is it a legal requirement, but it keeps them safe while they are out saving the lives of others.
When you are searching for a pair of firefighting gloves of your own, it is important to understand this standard so you can uphold it and keep yourself safe.
The NFPA standard for firefighters’ personal protection equipment (PPE) is that firefighting gloves must be a proper fit, have dexterity, and protect against physical hazards. Gloves that meet all of these very different requirements are NFPA approved and can be worn by firefighters when on duty.
Gloves designed for firefighting feature two layers: the outer layer, and in the inner layer. The outer layer is more often made of leather, a fire and heat resistant material, but the inner layer is also designed with protection in mind.
Most firefighting gloves have a modacrylic inner layer. Modacrylic is a fire that is flame resistant and does not combust, making this the ideal material for a comfortable inner layer of a glove.
There are two common materials used when it comes to the leather layer of firefighting gloves: cowhide and goatskin.
Both materials are great for protecting against fire and heat and while cowhide is the more commonly used material, goatskin gloves also feature extra benefits. Goatskin has a higher natural oil content than cowhide which makes it soft, pliable and water resistant. It is also more durable than cowhide and is lighter and more flexible for ease of use.
This makes it the ideal choice of material for firefighting gloves, but goatskin is more expensive to source and so, firefighter gloves that are made using goatskin instead of cowhide come with some extra dollars on the price tag. This is also why cowhide is more commonly used despite it being less beneficial compared to goatskin.
If you are a volunteer firefighter who does not spend that much time donning the uniform, then perhaps you may want to spend less on a pair of gloves you won’t be wearing often.
However, if you are a career firefighter and you want to invest in a good pair of firefighting gloves to use often, then you may want to choose a goatskin glove and reap the benefits of spending that little extra.
Knuckle Guard And Reinforced Palms
Protection in a firefighting glove doesn’t just come from the materials alone - there are features available on some firefighting gloves that give you extra protection on vulnerable areas of your hands.
Some gloves come with reinforced palms, meaning that there is extra material placed over your palm to provide an additional layer to keep heat and flames from penetrating the glove.
This is in case you raise your hand instinctively to protect yourself from flames, or if you accidentally throw your hand out onto a hot surface - the additional layer stops your palm from being burned or feeling extremely hot.
Also, you may also suffer from friction burns from handling ropes - but gloves with reinforced palms will help protect this.
Another safety feature is a knuckle guard. While these are more rarely found, they are still a very valuable feature.
They help provide back-of-hand protection to a level that goes beyond the minimum standard required by the NFPA, so every vulnerable part of your hand is well covered and protected against heat and injury.
If you often carry tools or handle the hose during your firefighting duties, then you may want to consider purchasing a glove with a knuckle guard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do firefighters use gloves?
To protect their hands, of course!
Gloves are a vital part of a firefighter’s uniform and wearing gloves means that their hands are protected against wounds caused by thermal, fire, and environmental exposure - such as burns, blisters, cuts, scratches, and scrapes.
They are a mandatory part of a firefighter’s uniform as it protects them when they are entering dangerous environments and allows them to complete their duties without worrying that they may cause harm or injure themselves.
Can firefighters wear NFPA 2112 approved gloves?
Firefighters are required to wear NFPA 1971-2018 complying equipment and clothing. If you see a pair of gloves you like but the information states the gloves apply to NFPA 2112, then the gloves are designed for manufacturers and those who work with short bursts of fire.
These gloves are only effective for a short duration, protecting you from flash fire exposure and not the long exposure time firefighters are expected to withstand.
So, NFPA 2112 approved gloves are inappropriate for firefighters as they are not protective enough against thermal exposure. They may be useful to use at home, but not when battling a fire that can last for hours.
What is structural and wildfire firefighting?
These are terms we have used in this article, but not everyone knows the difference between structural and wildfire firefighting.
The difference is the environment the firefighter works in, and the duties are expected to perform based on that environment.
Structural firefighting duties are related to public services. These include testing alarms, fighting buildings and structures that are on fire, vehicle accidents, dealing with chemical spills, and even providing emergency medical care when an EMT or paramedic is yet to arrive on the scene.
Wildfire firefighting includes more specialized duties related to forest fires and nature.
These duties include creating fire lines to deprive a wildfire of fuel, extinguishing fires with the use of water pumps, driving fire engines to remote areas, operating chainsaws and starting controlled fires to remove trees, rescuing hikers and lost civilians in the wilderness, and suppressing wildfires to keep nature and public areas safe.
These duties sometimes overlap depending on where a firefighter is stationed. A firefighter may be tasked with helping create fire lines one day, and the next they are called to extinguish a burning house.
Of course, there are gloves that are more designed for one of these types of firefighting so when you are researching what kind of firefighting gloves you would like to purchase, keep in mind the typical duties you perform and which glove is designed for those duties.