National Wildfire Coordinating Group

NWCG Standards for Fire Equipment Storage and Refurbishing, PMS 448

These national standards are applicable at National Support Caches and local units. For items that are not identified for refurbishment in this publication, contact your local servicing cache or technical centers for assistance. As new items are introduced, current items are discontinued, and/or health and safety issues arise, these standards will be revised to provide updated information.

The NWCG Standards for Fire Equipment Storage and Refurbishing, PMS 448, are developed and maintained NFES Subcommittee (NFESS) under the direction of the Equipment and Technology Committee (ETC), an entity of the NWCG.
While they may contain relevant or useful information, previsions versions are obsolete. The user of this information is responsible for confirming that they have the most up-to-date version. NWCG is the sole source for the publication.

Comments, questions, and recommendations shall be submitted to the appropriate agency program manager assigned to the NFESS using the NWCG Publication Review Form. View the complete roster.

Prior to refurbishment of any supplies or equipment, refer to your local health and safety reference materials and conduct Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) or risk assessments to identify potential hazards and establish mitigation practices. Reference materials may include USDA Health and Safety Code Handbook, Manufactures’ Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), product owner’s manuals, locally established JHAs, etc.

General guidelines for refurbishment:

  • Inspection: Determine whether or not an item has been used or is in need of refurbishment. This can generally be done by visual inspection for soiling, damage, missing seals, or items being removed from packaging.
  • Refurbishment: Generally this is a three step process consisting of cleaning, repairing and testing of an item before returning to service. Detailed refurbishment instructions are contained in the body of this document.
  • Packaging: Packaging requirements identified are standards established and followed by National Support Caches. Local protocols for packaging may vary from established packaging standards and should be applied as necessary to meet local storage requirements.

Note: Items used for transport, consumption, or storage of potable water or food should be cleaned and sanitized rinsing with mixture of 1 ounce or 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach thoroughly mixed into a gallon of room-temperature water. Rinse with clean water, drain, and air dry.

For items exposed to the human body, clean and dry using the specific instructions in this document. Examples are Nomex® clothing, neck shrouds, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and cots. Failure to follow the cleaning instructions may result in the failure of the fabric or materials to correctly or safely perform its function. This procedure also prevents the spread of communicable diseases.

  • Dispose of hazardous materials according to local health and safety regulations.
  • Cache managers or supervisors have the responsibility of determining whether it is economical to refurbish or dispose of an item.
  • Contact your local servicing cache for recycling options and disposal criteria or as local options are available.
  • Users should inspect all items that have been refurbished using some measure for quality assurance.

Abbreviations used:

  • DLT – date last tested
  • GL – gallon
  • LB – pound
  • PSI – pounds per square inch 
  • RPM – revolutions per minute


Page Last Modified / Reviewed: