Preventing Body Armor Failure
Russ, a retired police officer from the State of Michigan, has introduced a new
safety innovation into the law enforcement, corrections and military community (LECM).
A major problem within the LECM community has been the deterioration of body
armors ballistic-resistant capabilities due to improper care and maintenance.
According to a National Institute for Justice (NIJ) report
on soft body armor, Age alone does not cause body armors ballistic resistance
to deteriorate. The care and maintenance of a garmentor the lack thereofhave
been shown to have a greater impact than age on the length of service life of a
unit of body armor. Armor that is 10 years old and has never been issued may be
perfectly acceptable for use, provided that the rated level of protection is
still appropriate for the typical threats faced. Conversely, 2- or 3-year-old
armor that has been worn regularly and improperly cared for may not be
serviceable. Limited studies of the ballistic-resistant capabilities of armor
used for extended periods of time were initiated in 1983 by DuPont, at which
time some of the armor tested had been in service for more than 8 years.
The conclusions of the NIJ report are echoed by one
manufacture, Second Chance Body Armor, who in a 1999 literature stated, "Keeping
liquids/moisture away from the Body Armor panels will help the panels maintain
their ballistic/stab resistant properties. The effects of improper storage of
body armor have been long known. As an example, in 1973, researchers at the
United States Army's Edgewood Arsenal, responsible for the body armor determined
that "the penetration resistance of Kevlar was degraded when wet.
Russ innovation, the Flak Vest Hanger enhances body armor care thereby
improving operational safety and helping to reduce injuries and the potential
for the loss of life in the LECM Community. The Flak Vest Hanger allows anyone
who wears body armor to properly dry and store it. As has been shown by previous
research, improperly dried or stored body armor can reduce the
ballistic-resistant capabilities of the armor and place the wearer at increased
risk. Furthermore, improper care may also void the manufactures warranty.
The Flak Vest Hanger was specifically engineered for the
law enforcement, corrections and military community and has been field tested by
police officers for over six years.
It is made from foam-injected polymers and weighs 3.2 pounds. It is designed to
fit inside any standard 12 inch locker and can be placed on the floor or at the
bottom of the locker. The numerous ventilation ports allow the body armor to
dry 50% faster than any other method today and help to stop the accumulation of
body odors. As the flag ship product of Steve Russ company it is backed by a
25 year warranty.
More information about the Flak Vest Hanger can be
obtained from their website at