Fire Fighter

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Fire Fighter

Fire+Fighter

The First Cairns Fire Helmet, An Important Innovation

When looking for a fire helmet, most will select Cairns fire helmets, the best around since the 1850’s.  The first fire helmet was originally made by a luggage manufacturer, H.T. Gratacap, who specialized in durable, water-resistant leather. Gratacap collaborated with the Cairn brothers, who designed the reknown front identification shield, still recognizable today, eventually they took the business over and over the years have become the most respected producers of fire helmets and gear, earning recognition for their dedication to safety.

A Unique Timeline of the Cairns Fire Helmets

With an ornate shield on its front headpiece, the Cairn brothers made a helmet that has become famous and was the original fire helmet in the beginning of a long history of great personal protection equipment.

The first helmet’s success led the company to create additional fire equipment products to their line.  By the late 1800’s the Cairns were producing a full line of fire equipment including boots, hoses, fire lines, belts, protective clothing and more.

The Cairns Fire helmets were improved in the early 1920’s with the most modern new material, aluminum.  This discovery led to the production of a helmet that was lighter in weight and helped keep the company in the top of the fire protection equipment industry.

As time passed, the Cairns stopped making a full line of products and focused only on on fire helmets. In 1974, in light of their continuing technology, a new helmet, named for Philadelphia firefighters was added to the line; The 770 Philadelphian was their lightest helmet ever and met all OSHA standards.  

How Technology Has Influenced the Cairns Line

The Cairns Fire Helmet, in its modern form, is a fair superior product, yet it remains one of the safest and most popular helmet available.

In the 70’s new items incorporated the concept of impact and brought patented safety standards to the manufacturing of fire helmets. By 1981 the helmets were being made from fiberglass with high tech safety glass in the faceshield.

In the 1980’s when Kevlar became commonplace, Cairns began to work with it, the result was a new fire helmet, the 990 Intruder, with layers of Kevlar layered to provide a ballistic resistant helmet.

Today you can buy Cairns helmets in 8 different colors of front panels, in either standard leather or patent leather and Scotchlite panels for added reflective qualities. There are 27 million possible combinations available.

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