Gear Wash Blog

Signs Your Reflective Trim Needs Replacing

Reflective trim isn't just an extra feature of your gear. It's an NFPA certification requirement that ensures your safety and effectiveness on the front lines of firefighting.

From being easily detected on scene to avoiding roadside accidents, it’s meant to offer enhanced visibility in low-light and high-risk environments to keep yourself protected. Reflective trims like 3M Scotchlite 9500 and 5600 should be checked for damage as part of the routine inspection recommended by NFPA 1851.

Even though 3M Scotchlite trim offers retroreflective properties after high heat exposure, the fluorescent component may become dull or change color and not offer adequate daytime visibility. That's why inspections should be done after every incident—before the gear is returned to service.

You should be monitoring for damage like:

  • Physical damage like rips and tears
  • Burns and discoloration
  • Stains and contamination
  • Abrasions
  • Broken and missing stitches
  • Signs of lifting like wrinkles, buckling, or missing pieces

So when in doubt, or if you find a problem, send your gear to Gear Wash for an advanced inspection. At Gear Wash, we provide an advanced inspection of all layers of gear—including your 3M Scotchlite reflective material, in accordance with the current edition of NFPA 1851—for any visual signs of contaminants and residue, defects and damaged materials, and check for signs of wear.

Once the inspection is complete, we’ll determine what the damage is and repair it!

Your gear will be restored to its optimum level of protection and back to you in no time, so you can continue serving your community with confidence.

If you suspect your trim has any discrepancies or you're unsure if it needs repaired or replaced, entrust the subject matter experts at Gear Wash for an advanced cleaning, inspection, and repair.

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Categorized: Reflective Trim, Repair