SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan

March 03, 2011 08:30 ET

Frost & Sullivan: Innovative Products Fuel the North American Firefighters Personal Protective Equipment Markets

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwire - March 3, 2011) - Innovative products expect to open up fresh opportunities in the North American firefighters personal protective equipment (PPE) markets, which reached a stage of maturity due to the high level of compliance of PPE and lower replacement rates.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, North American FireFighters Personal Protective Equipment Markets, finds that the markets earned revenues of $622.1 million in 2010 and estimates this to reach $751.1 million in 2017.

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"The PPE market is heavily dependent on technological innovations for its sales," says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Ashwini Ravishankar." It is important for PPE manufacturers to specifically cater to the needs of fire departments that are willing to spend extra to ensure the comfort of their firefighters."

Innovations aimed at reducing ergonomic stress such as reducing the weight of the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), turnout gear and boots; enhancing the breathability and comfort of turnouts; and improving the dexterity and fit of gloves prove to be extremely crucial for gaining the market share.

Most likely, fire departments looking to replace their PPE will prefer products with enhanced comfort, functionality and durability. However, manufacturers could possibly face difficulties due to aftereffects of the economic recession. Federal grants used to purchase PPE have been disappointing. Thus, the firefighters PPE markets witnessed a decline.

"The main factor that influences growth in this market is the federal grant money, which is used to purchase PPE and fire firefighters," explains Ravishankar. "While the funding patterns have been stable for many years, in 2010, the allocated funding took a steep cut. This is likely to have a negative influence on the PPE market."

Overall, enhancing products and offering superior quality and features will be important for achieving growth in the firefighters PPE markets. Providing value-added services to end users at an affordable price will garner repeat customers.

"In this highly mature market, consistent focus on innovation will be one of the main factors that can steer a company to grow," reiterates Ravishankar. "Value-added services such as clean-and-repair services, on-site training and assistance and customization of products also play an essential role to secure contracts over a long period."

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North American FireFighters Personal Protective Equipment Markets