Owning and Caring for Body Armour
It is important to be aware of the different types of body armour available and what vest is most appropriate for the situation. However, it is equally important to be aware that vests need to be properly maintained, in the right size and the right style to ensure it offers full protection. While a vest that does not fit properly may be uncomfortable, many do not realise that it may also have gaps in protection, which could be potentially fatal. Preparation is vital in being protected as it allows you to choose the appropriate vest for the environments and threats you will find yourself in.
Body Armor Care
Caring for body armour involves washing it and storing it properly, as well as inspecting it for damage. In many ways it should be treated as you would treat clothes, and keeping your vest clean and properly cared for will help keep it effective for the extent of its lifespan. Body armour has a limited lifespan that will only be reduced by improper care, and if armour is old or worn then it should be replaced whether or not it is within warranty. Damage to armour is especially important to be aware of, as any damage or deformity will reduce the effectiveness of the vest, and so it should be replaced immediately. This is why caring for armour is so important, including cleaning and checking it regularly. Body armour consists of protective plates and a carrier into which plates are placed. The carrier can be seen largely as the vest itself, and even this needs to be cared for and washed regularly. The carrier can usually be machine washed, but the ballistic plates can only be washed with gentle cleaning agents and a sponge. This is because submergence in water will severely reduce the effectiveness of the plate, and excessive scrubbing and friction can cause damage that renders it ineffective. Nevertheless, it is important to keep all parts clean, and it is recommended that you have multiple carriers to ensure that you always have a clean vest to wear. Armour should be left to dry, and never tumble dried, and once dry it needs to be kept in a place where it will not be crumpled or have anything heavy set on top of it. After cleaning it is important to check the armour, and if it is damaged or deformed in any way it should not be worn, as it may not protect you. Caring for body armour properly is important not only in keeping you clean and comfortable, but it helps ensure that your armour will last as long as possible and be completely effective in protecting you.