Hot Topics - Health and Safety  - Health and safety two firefighter

Hot Topics - Health and Safety

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There are many risks beyond the fire

Firefighters risk their lives and health in many ways – not only in the incident itself. They are exposed to carcinogenic and otherwise toxic substances. Awareness for these risks and cleaning the equipment are crucial for their safety.

The unseen dangers

Why is cleaning your equipment after every incident so important? What dangers are presented by unclean equipment? What are the risks to a firefighter's health? Learn more about a firefighter's increased cancer risk, toxic gases that may be present at an incident, and the best ways to clean and disinfect exposed equipment. Take action now to reduce the risk.


The silent danger

During an incident, your personal protection equipment can become contaminated by fire residues and hazardous substances. The transmission of external contamination poses serious health risks.

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Reducing Risk for Cancer and Other Fire-Related Conditions


The contributions that job-related exposures have in illnesses such as cancer has grown steadily in recent years. One important reason for that: the amount of potentially carcinogenic substances in modern building materials. A growing body of research and data shows that harmful correlation.

But how can the current situation be improved? First and foremost by raising an awareness about this critical topic and by providing firefighters with the right knowledge and equipment to protect themselves effectively. Before, during and after a call.

Wearing SCBA or cleaning personal protective equipment after returning from a call helps to minimise the risk of getting exposed to carcinogenic substances. Find out what else you can do to address this serious health and safety issue in the fields of Training, Incident and Readiness below.

Cancer Awareness - Training

Efficient cancer prevention starts with the physical health and fitness of firefighters. Another important building block in minimizing the cancer risk is the enhancement of daily routines and workflows. New standard operating procedures, that incorporate comprehensive trainings, must also be established.

Cancer Awareness - Incident

The sole focus of firefighters is on saving others' lives. But too often it is overlooked that they themselves could become victims: by getting exposed to hazardous substances. The risk is much higher than in other professions. Recent studies show that impressively. So the question arises: what needs to change and how?  

Cancer Awareness - Readiness

After returning to the safe surroundings of the fire station firefighters still could get exposed to carcinogenic substances. The residues of gases are still present on the PPE. A proper self-handling, the cleaning and maintenance of equipment is therefore as equally important as the protection during an incident.

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A poster that can save lives

How can you minimise the risk of direct contamination? Which standard operating procedures are compulsory? Our info poster shows important prevention tips at a glance.

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Cancer Awareness: Training

Fitness should not be under-valued as a preventive solution. Furthermore, the value of proper training procedures and regular medical check ups cannot be overlooked. Find out more in this whitepaper.

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Cancer Awareness: Incident

How can routines and workflows be improved? Is there an efficient way to mitigate exposures and adjust standard operating procedures? Find out more in this whitepaper.

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Cancer Awareness: Readiness

There is an increasing demand in the fire service for new processes which emphasize better asset management and safe cleaning processes. Find out more in this whitepaper. 

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Toxic Twins

The “Toxic Twins” - Dangerous individually, more deadly in combination

Two of the most dangerous smoke-borne gases you can encounter are carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN). They’re called the “toxic twins” because where you find one, you usually find the other. Each gas is toxic on its own. But in combination they are exponentially worse – combining to form a chemical asphyxiant that can cause heart attacks. Regarding gas detection, this means, measuring each gas against its individual threshold does not provide effective protection. But it is crucial to detect the occurence of the two of them together. Several Dräger gas detectors come with the patented ability to do that. 

Dräger X-am® 5800

Dräger X-am® 5800

​The X-am® 5800 multi-gas detector measures up to six gases and is equipped with a particularly shock-resistant CatEx sensor. With the Dräger Gas Detection Connect software, it offers live data transmission and powerful asset management. Designed for personal monitoring, the X-am 5800 offers you the highest level of safety at a low cost of ...

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Understanding the Toxic Twins: HCN and CO

Check out our whitepaper, Understanding the Toxic Twins: HCN and CO. Learn about the lesser known twin, HCN – which is 35 times more toxic than CO – and how to protect yourself.

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Toxic Twins Infographic 2023 preview 9:11
Toxic Twins Infographic

We’ve created an infographic poster that gives you the facts about the toxic twins at a glance. It’s a great way to help the firefighters in your department understand this danger and how to protect themselves.

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Safe Handling of Contaminated PPE


After extinguishing a fire, there may still be a health risk for emergency personnel: even though there are no more flames to be seen, toxic or carcinogenic substances may still be present in the ambient air or on PPE.

Toxic soot particles settle in the surroundings – and also on the clothing and equipment of the fire fighters. A few rules should be followed when on site and also when cleaning the equipment in the workshop, in order to minimize the danger from contact with these particles. Learn more about the dangers, after the danger.

How to deal with overhaul risks

After a fire is extinguished, it is important to stay away from toxic gases, liquids and particles. In our animation, you see how to avoid hazards that appear when the obvious danger is over.


The danger after the danger

After extinguishing a fire, there may still be a health risk for emergency personnel: even though there are no more flames to be seen, toxic or carcinogenic substances may still be present in the ambient air or on PPE.

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Modern Workshop Design


Protecting you every step of the way: How to make your cleaning job a safe job

After the call is before the call: The cleaning of contaminated self-contained breathing apparatus, full face masks and chemical protective suits involves severe health risks for fire workshop technicians. Following a clearly defined process, separated in dirty and clean phases, helps to protect your technical staff from the exposure to harmful substances sticking on the contaminated equipment. Learn how to benefit from a well-structured cleaning course, stocked with modern work stations and defined steps.


Cleaning Your Equipment and Workshop Solutions

You are not prepared for the next incident until your equipment is properly cleaned. Dräger wants to make sure your cleaning activities are safe, thorough and effective. We provide valuable information and support you with tailor-made services and workshop solutions for optimised workflow and equipment maintenance.

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How to make your cleaning job a safe job

Modern workshop design supports safe cleaning processes for workshop technicians. Our info poster shows the relevant steps at a glance.

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Physical Fitness for Firefighters

Fitness is key for fighting fire

Firefighting requires endurance, strength and stamina. You have to clear obstacles, haul heavy equipment and save human lives – all under time constraints, while wearing complete firefighting gear, and in high temperatures. This combination can be dangerous, as many firefighter fatalities can be traced back to heart failure, circulatory collapse and overexertion. You can, however, protect yourself with a regular workout that strengthens your body and prepares you for the demands of your job, as well as eating a well-rounded diet. See below for exercises you can do anywhere, recipes that fuel the body with required nutrients, and Dräger products that always keep you ready for the next call.

Get fit, stay fit – from anywhere

Firefighters rarely have the time or energy to visit a fitness studio after their shift. Chris Cerci, firefighter and Firefighter Combat Challenge Champion, shows you how to improve your conditioning effectively in these videos. They are easy to do at the fire station or at home and only take 15-minutes to complete.

Dräger Fire Service Training: Functional Fitness (Part II)

Functional Fitness (Part II)

Dräger Fire Service Training: Core Training

Core Training

Dräger Fire Service Training: Stretching


workout routine poster

Fitness exercises made just for you

These workouts were specially designed for firefighters, designed for building muscle, strength training and stretching – at a glance.

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Fuel your body with healthy food

Those whose jobs are physically demanding should fuel their bodies and fill up their energy reserves properly at every meal. Download our Fire Services cookbook for some delicious and nutritious recipes.

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Always be ready for the next call

Fire fighter fitness equipment

Fire fighter fitness equipment


Training galleries

With our solutions, you can do both: work on your fitness and prepare for the specific challenges of your mission.


Alcohol and Drug Detection

Dräger alcohol and drug detecting devices are trusted by professionals around the globe. Our stringent quality controls ensure screening equipment delivers reliable results.

Related Topics


Fire Services Safety Solutions

Our firefighter gear brings you usability, connectivity, safety and serviceability – so you always know you are prepared and protected on every call.


Hot Topics - Firefighting Tactics

Firefighters face very different and increasingly difficult challenges. Learn more about the proper tactics to overcome them.


Hot Topics - Innovation

For over 100 years, Dräger has been driven by the desire to help protecting and saving people’s life. That’s why we continuously improve our products and strive for innovation that helps protecting lives even better.

Get in touch with Dräger

Contact us

Draeger Safety UK Ltd.

Ullswater Close, Blyth Riverside Business Park
Blyth, Northumberland, NE24 4RG

+44 (0) 1670 352 891

Call us from Mo - Thurs 8:30 - 17:00h
Fri - 8:30 - 14.00

Draeger Marine and Offshore

Unit E1, ABZ Business Park, International View,
Dyce, Aberdeen, AB21 0BJ

+44 (0) 1224 701 569