EN ISO 20471 - High visibility clothing

EN 471 pictogramme Interventions on the road (car accidents, render assistance etc.) are much more frequent than fire interventions. The risk analysis of the brigades demands that the equipment for the interventions is in accordance with the EN ISO 20471:2013. There are two options: to make an EN 469 suit that is also in accordance with PFCEN ISO 20471:2013 or to impose the wearing of an PFCEN ISO 20471:2013 class 2 vest.

Thanks to his high visibility clothing the firman can work in safe circumstances even when the visibility is less good. 

The principal aim of these garments is to warn car drivers as soon as possible that there is a person on the road. 

The visibility improves when there is a sharp contrast between the garment and the intervention place, for example a yellow intervention suit against the background of a red vehicle. In addition, a complex environment (bad weather, signal lights, road markings, lights of other vehicles, the reflexion of lights on a wet road surface...) makes it even harder for drivers to perceive the presence of a fireman on the road.  

EN ISO 20471 specifies the letter X: 3 classes for the garment

It defines 3 colours: yellow, orange and red.

Characteristics of protective clothing with high visibility: EN 20471:2013

Class321
Basic material (fluorescent)0,80m²0,50m²0,14m²
Retro-reflective material0,20m²0,13m²0,10m²
Material with combined characteristics  0,20m²

The basic material must wrap the body and has a minimum width of 50 mm on the whole length.

Couleurs fluorescentesThe fluorescent materials can be yellow, orange-red or red (chosen on the basis of the environment to create a large contrast). They react with the UV of light and guarantee a better visibility by day. They never improve visibility by night.

The retro-reflective stripings send the light back to its source. They only improve the visibility of firemen by night by reflecting the light of car lights or other vehicles. There are 2 technologies:

  • Billes de verre
    1. The glass beads technology
  • Technologie micro-prismatique
    2. The micro-prism technology

Photos 3M

We were the first to put a fire intervention jacket with high visibility on the market. Today we still maintain an advantage particularly in the positioning of the stripings to make them even more effective. Our SIOTEC department has already created and certified hundreds of different models. 

Types of stripings

  1. Fluorescent shoulder flap

    The fluorescent matter absorbs the non-visible UV-light that is present in daylight and adapts it to the wavelenght of the light it reflects. Consequently this light ends up in the visible part of the spectre offering a better visibility. 

    This phenomenon only produces itself by daylight, in the dark the fluorescent colour reacts as any 'normal' colour would. 

    To obtain an EN 471 class 2/2 certification there has to be a minimum of 0.50 m² of fluorescent matter present. In addition to the yellow combined striping FTP1200 or the retroreflective grey striping we use a flame retardant fabric that is in accordance with the demands of the EN 471 (fluo-part). The front flap can be fixed with Velcro or loops and can also be personalized. 

  2. Fluorescent striping - yellow glass beads

    This striping, with a minimum width of 5 cm, only complies for the fluorescent part with the requirements of the EN 471/EN ISO 20471.
    Its retroreflective qualities may not be taken into account for the obtention of the EN 471/EN ISO 20471 norm.

  3. FTP2100

    Compliance with Annex B of EN 469 must not affect the good values obtained in breathability, weight, flexibility while providing very good visibility.

    The top film provides better protection against abrasion, and its construction with metallized support offers good flexibility for more comfort. This technology: monobloc prismatic retroreflective strips with reinforced seams guarantee excellent retro-reflection even in the rain.

    The FTP2100 band complies with EN 469:2005 standards but also with the high visibility EN ISO 20471 standard with retro-reflection over its full width.

  4. Perforated fluorescent striping - yellow glass beads

    This striping, with a minimum width of 5 cm, only complies for the fluorescent part with the requirements of the EN 471/EN ISO 20471.
    Its retroreflective qualities may not be taken into account for the obtention of the EN 471/EN ISO 20471 norm.

    To improve the breathability of the clothing the striping is perforated. The aim is to prevent excessive warmth from accumalating underneath the striping. This warmth is the cause of burns. Thanks to the perforations it can escape much easier.

  5. Perforated retroreflective striping - triple trim (fluo/silver/fluo)

    This striping has a grey, retroreflective central part with two fluorescent (yellow or orange) bands around it. The yellow colour improves visibility by day whilst the retroreflective silver part reflects the light from the headlights of cars by night.
    This striping can't be used to obtain an EN 471/EN ISO 20471 certification because the retroreflective part isn't wide enough.

    To improve the breathability of the clothes the striping has been perforated. The aim is to prevent excessive damp from accumalating underneath the striping. Thanks to the perforations, the moisture can evaporate more effectively.

  6. Perforated retrotreflective striping - silver glass beads (50 mm)

    This striping with a minimum width of 50 mm takes advantage of glass beads to reflect the light to make the wearer of the suit visible in dangerous circumstances. In accordance with the requirements of the EN 471/EN ISO 20471.

    To improve the breathability of the clothing the striping is perforated. The aim is to prevent excessive warmth from accumalating underneath the striping. This warmth is the cause of burns. Thanks to the perforations it can escape much easier.

  7. Retroreflective striping - prisms

    A new striping with combined characteristics for firemen. It takes advantage of the micro-prismatic technology and offers therefore a reflection that is three times stronger than that of a striping with glass beads in rainy weather. At the same time, the striping presents a better abrasion resistance.

    This striping cannot be used to obtain an EN 471/EN ISO 20471 certification as the fluorescent part doesn't fit within the frame of the standard. The monobloc construction guarantees a good flexibility and more comfort. 

  8. Retroreflective striping - silver glass beads (50 mm)

    This striping with a minimum width of 50 mm takes advantage of glass beads to reflect the light to make the wearer of the suit visible in dangerous circumstances. In accordance with the requirements of the EN 471/EN ISO 20471.

  9. Retroreflective striping - triple trim (fluo/silver/fluo)

    This striping has a grey, retroreflective central part with two fluorescent (yellow or orange) bands around it. The yellow colour improves visibility by day whilst the retroreflective silver part reflects the light from the headlights of cars by night.

    This striping can't be used to obtain an EN 471/EN ISO 20471 certification because the retroreflective part isn't wide enough.

  10. Retroreflective striping - yellow prisms

    This is the only striping available on the market that is both yelllow fluorescent and retroreflective on the whole surface. It can be used to manufacture high visibility clothing of the type EN471/EN ISO 20471 class 2 and class 3. The striping takes advantage of micro-prismatic technology to offer a retroreflection that is three times stronger than that of a striping with glass beads in rainy weather.