Many of us love wearing a Leather helmet. The tradition and comfort of these helmets are a couple of the reasons we are drawn to them. We paint them, bend them, sticker them up and show them off, it’s just what us Leatherheads do. Our helmet is a part of our everyday equipment, and to prolong our Leather’s life and maintain its integrity, we must consider that there is a time and a place when our Leather helmet needs to stay in our locker.
The burn building is our ultimate training center and “playground”. When the training calendar is released, we immediately look for our scheduled live burn dates. The burn building is where we practice newly researched tactics, try newly acquired tools and team build with our crew. We treat the burn building as the real thing, “we train like we fight.” However, unlike a real fire, you should NOT be wearing your Leather in the burn building! Now, I know some of you are saying, “I always wear mine and its fine.” That’s great, but many of us Leatherheads have learned the hard way that this DOES cause damage to your lid. From personal experience and those shared by fellow firefighters, undo heat and stress from the burn building can cause your Leather to need a new paint job, require brim word to fix cracks or a warped brim and potentially cause you to decommission your Leather helmet completely. With these experiences in mind, it was time to share to prevent another brother or sister from wasting $700 or more. Burn buildings are made to contain heat, and heat is not fantastic for your Leather for long periods of time. Would you drive your Viper in a snowstorm and have the road salt eat away at your paint? We didn’t think so. Would it be fun to slide around in the snow in a Viper, yes it would, but we all can agree it would not be good for the longevity of your sports car. We know you love your Leather and want to show it off to the guys, but it’s not worth ruining your helmet for scheduled days at the burn building.
We suggest wearing a composite helmet during your burn building times. There are many great composites out there that we can wear for an hour or two and not have to worry about drying out or cracking. In fact, many of us can switch to a composite for this type of training using the free, issued helmet provided by our department. Whether you are looking for a shield to stand up to the burn building or our everyday tasks on the job, we also suggest outfitting whichever helmet you wear with a shield from Tayor’s Tins. These lightweight shields stand up to heat and come in numerous styles. We always love to showcase a quality product, especially when it is also a firefighter owned and operated company to boot. If you are an Instructor and will be spending a decent amount of time in the burn room, we highly recommend getting yourself a composite lid with a Taylor’s Tins shield. Having a composite helmet will save you a lot of money on repaints and brim work on your precious Leather. Don’t worry about those salty Leatherheads who might give you a hard time for wearing Tactical Tupperware at the training grounds, its necessary in prolonging the life of your Leather.