Every security operative will already be aware of the benefits that body armour can provide and how important it is. There are many products covered under the term ‘body armour’, and security operatives will already know how difficult it can be to choose the correct product. However, it is just as important to care for your vest correctly to ensure that it stays protective for as long as possible. Many overlook the need to keep body armour properly maintained, but unless you do, you cannot be assured of your protection.
Body armour does cover a wide range of products, but it is still an item of clothing and should be treated as such when maintaining it. Of course, your protective vest will be an especially important and valuable item of clothing, and so extra care has to be taken. Like any item of clothing, it needs to be washed and stored properly to ensure its quality and integrity. Any damage or deformity can prove to be deadly and cannot be ignored. It is imperative, therefore, that when cleaning and drying a vest you take the time to inspect it for any damage. If it is at all damaged, it should not be worn, and must be replaced immediately.
It is important when caring for your armour to separate the different constituent parts. Body armour is made of a carrier designed to hold the protection, and the protective inserts themselves. These inserts are usually made of soft fabrics with an incredibly high strength-to-weight ratio, such as Kevlar. The carrier can be made from a wide range of materials and may have specific care requirements. Both parts of the vest are important. Cleaning your vest is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, having a dirty vest is simply unpleasant, and may lead to you refraining from wearing it, which could be potentially fatal. Secondly, a dirty vest can breed germs and potentially bring about illness. For simple hygiene, a vest should be cleaned regularly.
Most importantly, is the effect that cleaning can have on your protection. While your armour is capable of protecting against incredible threats, the materials themselves are delicate and excess dirt can inhibit the protection offered by the fabrics inside. Just as extended exposure to adverse weather conditions can disintegrate a Kevlar vest, if it is allowed to get too dirty the fibres within can break down, meaning your protection is no longer guaranteed. You must also be careful when washing to avoid submerging or otherwise getting the Kevlar damp as this may also reduce its effectiveness. The carrier can often be machine washed but the protective inserts can only be cleaned with a non-abrasive cleaner and sponge.
Your armour must also be dried properly to avoid any moisture from settling within the vest and degrading the materials. Unlike machine washing, no part of the vest should be tumble dried. Instead, both the protective inserts and the carrier should be hung out to dry. Following this, a vest should be stored just as carefully, allowing nothing heavy to be placed on top of it, and keeping it flat and unfolded. Following these steps allows for your vest to be in its best possible quality.
The advice listed above is not the result of simply being cautious, and does indeed sound overly careful when it comes to your body armour. However, it is important to follow these steps as you cannot afford to take chances with such an important piece of equipment. Changing its shape in any way means it may no longer fit properly, making it uncomfortable at best, and at worst leaving you with gaps in your protection. Similarly, a damaged vest can no longer guarantee your protection.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SafeGuard CLOTHING™ understand how important body armour is to our customers and take the time to insure that they provide only the highest quality of body armour to its customers. They have conducted extensive research to determine exactly what they needed to do to make their company different from the other body armour distributors on the market. Their findings showed that customers wanted to buy body armour from a company that was established, trustworthy, and dependable. SafeGuard CLOTHING™ are a company that can help you get the right body armour to fit your needs, at a price that you can afford.