Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
We all know that body armor is designed to stop bullets and help protect you from other projectiles, but could there possibly be another use for it? Have you ever wondered if that body armor that you have is able to withstand heat or fire? Let’s take a deeper dive into the possibilities of your body armor and if it may actually be a good option to have in case of fire!
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Is Body Armor Fire Resistant/Fire Proof?
Many people are surprised to find that body armor is actually heat and fire-resistant. This has to do with their overall construction and the materials that they use in order to stop projectiles. Body armor is generally made up of plastic fabrics that are made of Aramids. These are plastic fibers that are very strong, lightweight, flexible, and even heat-resistant. So although body armor isn’t specifically designed for fire and is made to stop thins like bullets, knives, and even shrapnel, it can help protect against heat and fire!
What is Body Armor Made of?
One of the most widely used materials in soft body armor is called Kevlar. This is a lightweight and strong fiber that is interlaced and woven together to create a system to absorb the impact, energy, and force of things like speeding bullets. Kevlar is so strong, in fact, that the fibers are over five times stronger than steel fibers! But what exactly is Kevlar?
Kevlar is an Aramid fiber. Aramid stands for “aromatic polyamide”, and is made up of repeated chains of molecules to give it its incredible strength. This is also what gives it other properties as well, such as being lightweight, abrasion-resistant, non-conductive, and of course, heat resistant. These fibers are used to construct much of what you see today in soft body armor gear and clothing.
Aramid Fabric as Basic Material for Soft Armor Panels
The Aramid fibers are interwoven together to create fabrics, which are then used to create body armor. These are unique in the sense that you are able to have “soft” body armor, meaning it is flexible and much more comfortable than “hard” body armor, which is usually constructed of ceramic plates to stop bullets. Soft body armor is what you will often see police wearing, and it can help protect you from much more than just bullets. The Aramid fabric allows you to cover more of your body and stay better protected all around, especially if you are using it in order to escape or help resist any type of fire.
Polyester and Nylon (Cordura) as Basic Outer Carrier Material
Of course, you usually can’t wear straight Aramid fabrics. Instead, they are housed within other outer fabrics such as polyester and nylon. Surprinslgy, these materials do a good job at resisting heat as well (although nowhere near as good as the Aramid fabrics themselves). So you will not have to worry about your bulletproof vest or body armor clothing randomly igniting into flames, and the fabrics they are housed in are usually pretty good at repelling heat as well.
Will Body Armor Protect Me for a Couple of Minutes If My Car Is On Fire?
So will some body armor be able to protect you if your car suddenly catches fire? While the best thing that you could do is distance yourself as quickly as possible from the heat source, sometimes this may not be an option. If that is the case, then a set of body armor could provide some valuable protection until help arrives! Many people will carry some body armor in their cars for emergency situations, and in the event of a fire, it can be quickly utilized. Again, the best course of action is to escape first but in the event that you can’t, some body armor is better than nothing!
Why EMS/First Responders Wear Body Armor?
Many EMS and first responders are showing up to the same calls as policemen (who are always wearing body armor) so wouldn’t it make sense for them to wear some too? Often these are very dangerous and hostile situations, where having some body armor could potentially protect you from the cause or source of the call.
From shootings to fires, staying protected is the number one priority and that is why you will see more and more EMS and first responders wearing body armor while on the job. It seems as though that the world is getting more and more dangerous, so EMS and first responders are becoming more and more reliant on body armor and protective clothing to keep them safe.
Firefighters and Increasing Need of Wearing Body Armor on Some Calls
With how crazy the world has become, there is a growing need for body armor amongst firefighters across the world. Many fire chiefs have expressed concern as the increase in mass shootings and domestic violence calls often involve firefighters, they stand in need of more protection.
It is not unheard of for people to pull guns on those they are fighting with, as well as their rescuers. With the increase in these types of calls, firefighters are seeing a big need in wearing some kind of body armor on certain calls that they get.
So is body armor fire resistant? It actually is! While it can’t completely protect you in all situations, having some body armor in case of a fire can be a great way to stay prepared and use its heat-resistant properties to protect yourself in case of a fire. Due to its heat-resistant properties, you may want to consider wearing some soft body armor if a fire is ever a potential threat!