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Frequently Asked Questions

Care and Use FAQ

  • Q: What do you recommend for care and maintenance of your helmet?
    A: A little common sense!

    It’s recommended that you take care of your helmet by cleaning it up from time to time. We know a salty helmet is considered “battle scared” but when your helmet starts to smell like a gym locker it’s time for a bath. All of our helmets should be cleaned with warm water and mild soap i.e. dish soap. We recommend wiping the helmet down after every fire and periodically removing and cleaning the helmet liner. When you clean the helmet liner and gray impact dome leave them out of the helmet to air dry. Be sure to replace these components in the same location from which you removed them. Please do not place your helmet in the dishwasher for quick and easy cleaning. –Yes, this has been done. On the flip side, please do not place your helmet in the oven or BBQ for that “seasoned” look (but we hear Lawry’s seasoning works best). –Yes, this has also been done!

    For additional information please refer to our care and maintenance manual.

  • Q: Is it ok to change the curvature of my rear brim on my leather helmet/TL2?
    A: Yes. Many of our helmets have different looks from region to region in the United States; you may see Boston flat style, Cowboy style, or Bronx bend style. The rear brim is made of pure leather with a piece of continuous 12 gauge wire around the outside. If you wish to change the look, simply take your time and SLOWLY work the helmet into the shape you desire. *Refrain from repetitive bending, as the wire is made of malleable steel, which may compromise the integrity of the edge support wire.

  • Q: What can I/you do to cover the nicks/scratches in my leather/TL2 helmet?
    A: As we make note of in our product descriptions, our helmets are true leather and the leather can become nicked and scratched over time. We use Angelus shoe paint because it responds like a dye by soaking into the leather which resists chipping and cracking. If you need a complete repaint call us directly for pricing, preparation instructions, and an RMA number.

  • Q: My liner is falling out of my helmet, what can I do to remedy the situation?
    A: Try taking a q-tip with soapy water on it and clean the sockets in the shell (where the hangers from the liner fit into it). Sometimes hair products and/or oils may work their way into the area and cause the liner to easily pull out. If it persists, take the liner and soak it in hot water for a couple of hours. This will add life to the four hangers that fit into the sockets of the shell. If the problem still persists, please contact a technical specialist at Phenix Technology via phone at 888-347-7838.

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Construction / Components FAQ

  • Q: Do you sell the different components of your helmet so I can refurbish my helmet?
    A: Yes. All items can be purchased for replacement. Whether your helmet was purchased twenty years ago, or yesterday, all replacement hardware is consistent and will properly retrofit your helmet.

  • Q: What is the difference between the ratchet and nape strap suspension liners?
    A: Both suspensions are fully adjustable and are positioned at the nape of your neck. The nape strap adjusts by a Velcro strip usually referred to as a one time adjustment. The ratchet adjusts by an adjustment knob allowing for quicker adjustment in the field.

  • Q: Do your liners come in S, M, and L?
    A: Our liners are fully adjustable, they should fit most sizes from 6 ½” to 8 ½”. If for some reason you are having difficulties with the fit of your liner, please contact the vendor from which you purchased your helmet so adjustments can be made.

  • Q: Can I cut out the ratchet/nape strap portion of the suspension?
    A: We do not recommend this, and advise you not to. You may do as you wish once you receive your helmet; however, altering your helmet in any way not recommended by the manufacturer, invalidates any warranty or liability on the manufacturers’ part. If you want to cut portions of the safety features out, knock yourself out and make sure you have a large life insurance policy for your surviving family.

    NOTE: God forbid you are killed in the line of duty; the first people who show up are NIOSH from the federal government. If an investigatation of the circumstances finds you have altered any part of your PPE’s, your family can be denied the $265,000 issued by the federal government for a line of duty death (LODD).

  • Q: What are your earlaps made of?
    A: The earlaps are made of Nomex and Fire Retardant Cotton Blend.

  • Q: Why is Sam Brown Shields the exclusive shield manufacturer for Phenix Helmets?
    A: We feel Sam Brown Shields are among the very best shield manufacturers in today’s fire service. Similar to Phenix, Sam Brown Shields is a fire service family owned and operated business with a commitment to craftsmanship and customer service second to none.

  • Q: Will my department shield fit on your helmet?
    A: Our shield was made specifically to fit our helmet. You may be able to fit your department shield on our helmet; however, there is no guarantee. We can attach your shield to our helmet if you are able to send your shield to us. This may be like putting Hyundai Accent parts on a lifted, red, Ford F250. Keep in mind that our shields are all made from the same die, thus, when you promote in a few years, you will be able to order a new shield that will fit your helmet perfectly!

  • Q: Why does the leather on my TL2 helmet look slightly different than other Phenix TL2 leathers?
    A: Our leather comes from the under belly of a cow and as you can imagine no one cow is the same. Therefore, each leather helmet is unique in its own way however this has no affect of the design and or the safety of the helmet.
  • Q: Why does the rear brim of the TL2 / my leather helmet seem so pliable?
    A: Our helmets are made of 100% hand crafted leather, there is no plastic or other filler in the rear brim. Leather, like shoes is meant to be pliable. Leather continues to expand and contract depending on the temperature of the environment. By placing this clear coat on the helmets, the leather is suffocated and cannot expand or contract, therefore the leather becomes dry and brittle over time. The drying of the leather causes cracking and you may see the eventual loss of leather in small chunks when the helmet is dropped or struck with a solid object.

    Without the aforementioned leather treatments, our helmet remains lighter weight as well as allowing for better shock attenuation should an object strike the brim. In keeping with tradition, our helmets feature a longer rear brim so water can easily shed from the helmet to the back of a firefighter’s coat, thus preventing hot water and other burning combustibles from burning the firefighter. Since this was a part of the original design of “old school” firefighting helmets, why change something that works?!

  • Q: Will the brim of my TL2 / my leather helmet lose shape?
    A: There is a 12 gage wire inserted along the edge of the brim to keep the shape you desire. If you would like a specific bend to your brim, please disclose this information at the time you place your order so we may accommodate your request before the helmet is painted.

  • Q: Can I get a flip down eye shield?
    A: If you truly have your heart set on it, we won’t stop you. It may be ordered as an accessory on the traditional style helmets.

  • Q: Can I get a face shield on your leather or traditional composite helmet?
    A: No.

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Ordering FAQ

  • Q: How can I purchase your helmet?
    A: Check the dealer page to see if there is a dealer in your state. Determine the model of helmet you would like purchase, including any accessories we offer. Call your local dealer to get a quote for your specific helmet. If there is no dealer located in your state, you may call the next closest dealer or call us direct. You may print any of our order forms, fill them out, and fax the forms in. Please be sure to write legibly and include contact information. We will be happy to help you with your purchase. Because of our dealer network, we do not offer E-commerce, however, some of our dealers may. We, along with most of our dealers, accept checks, money orders, and credit cards. We look forward to hearing from you.

  • Q: Why can’t we order a helmet off your website?
    A: We feel it’s important for our customers to have a more personal experience. Many of our representatives are firefighters who wear our products. They can give you empirical stories about our product and its dependability to help make sure you are buying the best product for your needs.

  • Q: Can I order my helmet differently than described?
    A: You may order your helmet based on your needs. Each helmet is made when the order is placed. You are the customer, we make it your way!

  • Q: How long does it take once I order my helmet?
    A: Each helmet is made to order so you may personalize your helmet and order it as you wish. The standard production time for our thermoplastic helmets is up to four (4) weeks. The standard production time for our traditional composite helmet is up to four (4) weeks. The standard production time for our custom made traditional leather helmets is up to twelve (12) weeks. A Miller 1884 version of the TL2 (now available) is on a longer track of about sixteen (16) weeks. Please understand that your leather helmet is made from scratch, by hand, and the demand for them is growing quickly.

    You may find what you are looking for from one our stocking dealers around the country from our dealer network which you can find under the How to Purchase link from the main menu.

    These are the average turnaround times and may not necessarily be the amount of time it will take for you to receive your order. We can not be held responsible for any delays caused by circumstances out of our control.

  • Q: Can I order your ID shield with reflective lettering?
    A: No. Sam Brown’s ID shields are foil stamped preventing peeling of the characters in high heat and/or wet conditions. If a light shines on your shield in a dark location it will be illegible, besides, is it really the most important thing for your shield to be read in a dark area?

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Standards FAQ

  • Q: Are your helmets NFPA approved?
    A: NFPA DOES NOT APPROVE ANYTHING. Designated helmet models are compliant to the NFPA 1971-2007 standard. In the NFPA 1971-2007 Standard page 102 section A.3.2.1. reads, “The National Fire Protection Association does not approve, inspect, or certify any installations, procedures, equipment, or materials; nor does it approve or evaluate testing laboratories.” If you have any further questions feel free to call our president and co-founder Raymond Russell.

  • Q: Does NFPA certify helmets?
    A: No. It only specifies performance criteria.

  • Q: What is NFPA/What is NFPA 1971?
    A: NFPA is the National Fire Protection Association. The NFPA is an international nonprofit organization which in their own words "develops, publishes, and disseminates more than 300 consensus codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks."

    NFPA 1971 is the Standard on Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting and Proximity Fire Fighting which specifies "the minimum design, performance, testing, and certification requirements for structural fire fighting protective ensembles and ensemble elements that include coats, trousers, coveralls, helmets, gloves, footwear, and interface components." More information is available on the NFPA website at: www.nfpa.org

  • Q: I was looking at your catalog/website products and noticed only some of the helmets are identified as NFPA 1971 compliant, why is that?
    A: The NFPA 1971 standard requires specific testing of helmets and components by an independent testing facility. All of our helmets meet or exceed the current standard. For a helmet to be fully compliant, NFPA 1971 requires that helmets be equipped with certain components. These include: goggles or full-face face shield, ear/neck protection, Nomex chinstrap, and a minimum surface area of four square inches of lime/yellow reflective material. Our standard models are fully compliant to the NFPA 1971 standard.

    Each of our helmets is available in various configurations, some of which do not meet NFPA standards, all meeting US OSHA criteria. Search and rescue, wildland firefighting, confined spaces, and other non-structural firefighting/emergency applications may not need all of the same protection as structural firefighting.

  • Q: If my helmet is NFPA 1971 compliant is it also CA and US OSHA compliant?
    A: Yes. The NFPA 1971 standard is more rigorous than the CA and US OSHA standards. If your helmet is NFPA 1971 compliant it is also CA and US OSHA compliant.

  • Q: Where is the NFPA Compliant Sticker in my helmet?
    A: Turn your helmet upside down, remove the liner and gray impact cap, there you will find the labels determining the level of compliance.

  • Q: Can I get a copy of your NFPA Compliance Certificate?
    A: Absolutely. You can click here to download our NFPA Standards Compliance Certification issued by Strider International.

  • Q: Is there a more recent standard than NFPA 1971/Hasn't the standard changed since 1971?
    A: 1971 is the standard number and not a year. NFPA 1971 is periodically amended and our helmets are compliant to the current version of that standard. The current revision is the NFPA 1971-2007

  • Q: Isn't there a more stringent NFPA 1972 standard?
    A: NFPA 1972 did exist but was utlimately incorporated into the NFPA 1971 standard.

  • Q: Are flip down eye shields NFPA approved?
    A: No. See above question about NFPA approval. Flip down eye shields do not meet the requirements of eye protection for NFPA or ANSI compliance. They are currently considered an accessory.

  • Q: Is your testing laboratory a recognized testing lab?
    A: Our helmets are tested by National Technical Systems in Fullerton, CA. This lab is approved by the Defense Electronic Supply Center (DESC), accredited by the American Association of Laboratories (AALA), and is ISO registered. NTS meets and exceeds all of the requirements for NFPA 1971-2007 compliance. For a complete list of NTS’s certifications please contact Phenix Technology.

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Warranty FAQ

  • Q: What is the warranty on your helmet?
    A: We have a standard 5 year craftsmanship warranty on all of our helmets.

  • Q: My warranty is up, but I still need help, can you work with me?
    A: We are a family run business that stands behind our product. If you have a problem after the warranty date, simply call us and if it’s within reason, we’ll see what we can do to help.

  • Q: How do I register my helmet for the warranty?
    A: Simply fill out the warranty form found in the care and maintenance manual included with your helmet at the time of purchase, and mail it back to us.

  • Q: Does adding an id bracket invalidate my warranty?
    A: As long as the id bracket is installed per manufacturer instructions it will not invalidate the warranty.

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General FAQ

  • Q: Where can I see your helmet up close and try one on for fit?
    A: Contact the local dealer in your state. Please refer to our dealer page. If there is no dealer in your state you may contact Phenix Technology directly to participate in our demo program.

  • Q: Do you attend any fire shows?
    A: You can visit our Tradeshows page for dates and times of shows where Phenix will be. We usually attend:
    • Firehouse World in San Diego, CA
    • FDIC in Indy, IN
    • Firehouse Expo in Baltimore, MD
    • The Harrisburg Fire Show, PA
    Most of our dealers throughout the country attend local shows and have our helmets on display. Contact your local dealer with questions.

  • Q: What should I do if my helmet seems damaged beyond repair?
    A: Call us direct with the details of how your helmet became damaged. Our ISO certification requires, us to evaluate and repair/replace our products if found defective. This may include your shipping the helmet to us, fully assembled, for evaluation. We then determine whether the damage is user error or a manufacturer's defect of the product. This process can take up to a week, however, can usually be evaluated and returned to you in working condition within a day of receiving it.

  • Q: I want to add an accessory to my helmet and I live too far to bring it in.
    What can I do?
    A: Call us to get an RMA number and order the accessories to be installed (i.e. ID bracket, ratchet retrofit kit, flip down eye shields, goggles, attachment kit, etc.) You are responsible for all shipping charges and installation fees. Most of our accessories come with instructions on how to install them, which you can do yourself. However, if you install an item incorrectly we will not be held liable and your helmet will be out of warranty.

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