EN 469 Standard Certification
EN 469 covers the requirements for firefighters' protective clothing or the turnout gear (kits) used and worn during structural firefighting where that gear is used to protect from fire and heat. The performance requirements for fire fighter clothing conforming to this standard will include:
• Flame spread (tested to ISO 15025)
• Convective heat (tested to EN 367)
• Radiant Heat (Tested to ISO 6942)
• Heat Resistance (tested to ISO 17493)
• Water Repellence
• Dimensional Stability
• Chemical Resistance
Defining the EN469 Standard
Each certification uses a standard picture or pictogram to allow for easy identification on labeling and tech or data sheets. The standard pictogram for EN 469 depicts a fire fighter spraying a flame
Photometric requirements for retro-reflective materials are according to EN471 Table 5 (Level 2, 220 table) or Table 7 (combined performance materials, 65 table). The minimum amount of reflective material is 0.13 m2.
EN469 - Flame Spread
A test is performed on the material to check for limited flame spread. This includes after burn time, length of afterglow, formation of holes and for melting debris to exit the garment. This test is often performed on seams, wristlet material and additional secondary hardware.
EN469 - Heat Transfer (radiation)
This test measures the radiant heat transfer index of the textile or material being used by the fire fighter. The test includes measurement of the heat flux density as well the time it takes for the temperature to rise inside the garment.
EN469 Heat Transfer from Flame
This is a similar test to radiant heat transfer performed on the material to check the heat transfer index of textiles or material in direct contact with flame. Like radiant tests, this test includes measurement of the heat flux density as well as the time it takes for the temperature to rise within the garment.
EN469 Residual Strength
This is an overall measurement of the garment pre and post treatment, primarily after exposure to radiant heat according to ISO 6942. This test measures heat flux density and the tensile strength in cross direction and machined direction.
EN469 Heat Resistance
This test measures overall heat resistance and the result of exposure to oven temperature for a set duration. Requirements must be met for ignition, melting, hole formation, dripping and shrinkage of the machine/cross
EN469 Tensile and Tear Strength
After exposure, the tensile and tear strength of the garment is examining including the outer shell material of the garment and any primary seams.
Additional tests are performed on firefighting garments and material used within such as surface wetting tests, dimensional change, penetration of liquid chemicals, resistance to water penetration, water vapor resistance and overall visibility.
Visibility is an important test factor if the gear or material is fitted with retro-reflective and/or fluorescent elements. Those elements are required to meet the requirements of EN 471 table 5 or 7. This test measures the minimum area of reflective material as well as the minimum area of fluorescent material.
Note that all reflective and high visibility materials are individual tested and must also pass the limited flame spread testing and heat resistance tests while meeting minimum values for retro-reflection post exposure to testing conditions.