Entering a burning building can mean walking into heat, flames, smoke and falling debris! The gear firefighters wear helps to keep them safe, agile and as light on their feet as possible.
The hood is fire-resistant and worn over the firefighter's head underneath the helmet. The hood helps protect a firefighter's head, neck and ears from getting burned.
The face mask protects the firefighter's face from the fire, steam, and flying embers. It is connected by a hose to an air-supply tank. This supplies fresh air to the firefighter to allow breathing in a toxic atmosphere.
Firefighters wear helmets made of hard plastic to protect their heads from fire and falling objects. The helmet has a chin strap to keep it in place. A visor in front protects the firefighter's eyes, and earflaps protect the ears.
Firefighters wear thick, leather gloves to protect their hands from burns, cuts and scratches.
The air-supply system is made up of a tank of fresh air, a harness, and pressure gauges and regulators. Firefighters carry air tanks in a harness on their backs. The regulator controls the flow of air.
The pants have wide legs and suspenders to help them stay up. When they are not fighting fires, firefighters usually leave their bunker pants scrunched down on the ground over their boots so they can pull both up in a hurry.
The firefighter's bunker coat helps protect them from flames but do not allow them to walk through or stand in fire. They have reflective stripes so firefighters and see each other in the heavy smoke and so cars can see them at night.
Made of rubber or leather, boots have steel toes and insoles to protect firefighters' feet from heavy falling objects and shards of metal and glass. Leather boots are lighter, but rubber boots are more water-resistant.
Firefighters use their Handie-Talkies to communicate with each other during a fire. They tell each other about collapsing roofs or floors, where the fire is, where people are trapped, and if there are any firefighters missing.