[Click here to view our current ETL Verification pdf Conformity Certificate ]
2011 Re-Verification in process with ETL.
Apex Fire Services is the most credentialed Independent Service Provider (ISP) in the Midwest. Before you choose to work with an ISP, there is additional information regarding the industry that you should consider.
Why choose a Verified Repair Facility?
The answer is simple. You don’t take your fire apparatus to a discount oil change shop for maintenance… why would you trust your life saving gear to anyone but a Verified Repair Facility? In fact, the majority of ensemble manufacturers recommend and insist that ensembles and ensemble elements be serviced by a Verified Repair Facility; and in many cases, not doing so or allowing a non-certified individual or general sewing shop tend to your gear will void the manufacturer warranty.
Additionally, basic non-verified sewing shops are just that. Non-verified, basic repair shops do not have the insight or ability to repair the moisture barrier liner assembly, which is the most overlooked and most misunderstood component of the entire ensemble. It is the last line of defense a fire fighter has against heat and liquid penetration, the very elements the ensemble was designed to protect against. Only a Verified Repair Facility can assist you with these types of Advanced Repairs
What does Verification mean?
NFPA 1851, Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting, 2008 Edition, is very clear as to what classifies as a “verified” repair facility. Verified Repair Facilities submit sample repaired fabrics to a third party laboratory, such as Intertek or Underwriters Laboratories, who administers this costly and time consuming process for the repair facility. Repairs to the outer shell, thermal liner and moisture barrier are put through a barrage of laboratory tests to ensure the repairs being made at the repair facility meet or exceed the construction standards of NFPA 1971, the very same standard that your gear was originally constructed to. Repair facilities must submit to laboratory testing and spot inspections annually and maintain a stringent Quality Assurance program for its customers.
Third-party laboratory Verification is the only recognized industry document available for performing Advanced Repairs under NFPA 1851. Within this nationally recognized Standard, there is no such thing as being “certified to repair fire gear”.
Isn’t training from the manufacturer good enough to repair PPE?
No. Whereas some gear manufacturers train end-users and repair facilities on the cleaning, inspection and very basic repair of personal protective ensembles, no manufacturer can “certify” or “verify” any repair facility to the NFPA 1851 Verification testing standard for advanced repairs. In fact, the NFPA 1851 standard was written to specifically require third party laboratory testing in order to become a Verified Repair Facility.
Whereas Apex Fire Services participates in manufacturer training, when available, such training is only applicable to that specific manufacturer and the specific individual being trained. As per NFPA 1851, basic training from a manufacturer only permits the trained non-certified individual to make repair patches not to exceed five square inches (i.e. 2.5” x 2.5”), re-stitching of an inch or less of outer shell Major A seam and minor hardware, excluding zippers and positive closure systems, and reclosing of a liner after inspection. All other repairs, such as trim replacement, reinforcements and alterations must be performed by a third party Verified Repair Facility.
Can’t our dealer repair our gear?
In most instances, the answer is no; unless your dealer has submitted to testing through the NFPA 1851 Verification program, and even then, we are of the belief that PPE dealers are good at doing one thing, selling new gear. Too many instances have been widely reported in which dealer repair facilities condemn otherwise repairable garments - with the only option to the customer to buy a new replacement garment. When making that decision, your PPE should be left to professionals dedicated to comprehensive care and maintenance of personal protective ensembles, rather than a dealer with a sewing machine in the backroom.
Apex Fire Services is the only independently owned and operated ISP in the State of Ohio and have no affiliations with any one manufacturer or distributor.
What is your liability?
Laws vary from state to state and you should check with your own state Administrative Code. In Ohio, for example, the Ohio Administrative Code, Division of Safety and Hygiene, OAC 4123:1-21-0 Fire Fighting, specifically requires the employer to provide personal protective clothing and equipment for the employee, shall develop and require use of a written plan covering the use and maintenance of PPE; including the cleaning and repairing of PPE as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Adhering to the recommendations and requirements of NFPA 1851 regarding the care and maintenance of personal protective ensembles, will meet the requirements of care and maintenance as set forth in OAC 4123:1-21-0.
All services performed by Apex Fire Services, including basic and advanced repairs and alterations are of manufacturer quality and are in accordance with all applicable NFPA standards and recommendations. AFS is a Intertek ETL 3rd party verified repair facility for: