Fire-Dex Blog

Choosing the Best Structural Firefighting Gloves: A Guide to Safety and Performance

Structural firefighting gloves are a lifeline, offering vital protection in the midst of fiery hazards. NFPA 1971 certified structural gloves must shield against burns, abrasions, and hazardous substances, ensuring your safety during interior fire calls. Not all firefighting roles are identical, and neither are your gloves. Designed for the rigors of a burning structure, structural firefighting gloves must endure high temperatures, backdrafts, flashovers, and more. Your choice of gloves should align with the demands of your role, whether you're handling tools or managing the blaze. 

Here's a few tips to help you pick the right structural gloves for your firefighting mission. 

Dexterity Matters  

One of the most critical factors in firefighting is dexterity. The ability to firmly grasp and manipulate objects is essential for both safety and efficiency on the job. That's why glove designers pay close attention to the exterior of the gloves. Textured surfaces are incorporated to enhance your ability to grab and grip tools, equipment, and other materials, ensuring you can carry out your tasks effectively and safely. 

It’s important to find the right balance between a proper fit and thermal protection. While a tight fit might seem like the path to better hand movement, it can undermine the thermal protection of the glove. In such cases, the tight fit compresses the thermal barrier, leading to less trapped air and reduced insulation from heat. Ultimately, this can increase the potential for heat to be transmitted to the hand, putting you at risk. 

Some firefighters prefer gloves with a loose fit, making it easier to don and doff them, especially in wet conditions. However, gloves that are too loose can negatively impact a firefighter's level of dexterity. 

Donning & Doffing 

The process of putting on (donning) and taking off (doffing) gloves should be neither too easy nor too difficult. The design of the gloves plays a significant role in your ability to don and doff them. If the openings are too wide or the gloves have an overly soft texture, they can hinder your grip, which is crucial during an emergency. Textured liner gloves can provide a tighter fit, enhancing gripping power. 

For firefighters, striking the right balance between ease of donning and doffing is vital. Gloves should provide a snug fit around the palm and wrist, allowing for a slight degree of movement. This balance ensures that gloves stay securely in place during missions but remain easy to remove at the end of a long and challenging call. 

How to Properly Doff Structural Fire Gloves 

Quality From the Outside-In With the Dex-Pro Glove 

The Dex-Pro glove is a three-dimensional glove design that offers top-tier performance for comfort, dexterity, and thermal protection. Engineered with the finest materials, the Dex-Pro provides enhanced flexibility with a broken-in feeling straight out of the bag.   

First Layer: Outer Shell - 3oz Top Grain Cowhide 
  • The back of the glove uses a top grain cowhide while the palm side is a split reverse cowhide for added grip in both wet and dry conditions.  
Second Layer: Thermal Liner – 9oz Nomex ® Interlock Weave 
  • One-layer is used on the palm side and two-layers on the back of the hand and continues all the way to the fingertips. 
  • The interlock weave provides additional stretch and reduces restriction when making a fist or grasping objects.   
Third Layer: Moisture Barrier - Porelle® FR 
  • Thin, lightweight, and breathable barrier that’s highly flexible and helps to reduce bunching.  
  • Highly breathable and thermally tested to 500° F and remains waterproof after repeat laundering. 

The Dex-Pro Glove In-Action   

Flow and Vent Unboxing the Dex-Pro Glove 

Choosing the best structural firefighting glove is not a one-size-fits-all decision. Firefighters need to assess the dexterity, flexibility, and the level of thermal protection needed. A good fit is essential, as it ensures both safety and efficiency on the frontlines, which is why we're proud to offer Dex-Pro gloves, the number one best choice for structural firefighting hand protection.   



Categorized: Dex-Pro Gloves, Firefighter Health and Safety, Dex-Rescue Gloves


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