Deconstructing Riot Gear: Understanding the Components for Maximum Safety

Deconstructing Riot Gear: Understanding the Components for Maximum Safety

Walking into a riot or other type of civil disturbance can be a nerve-wracking experience for any officer. Knowing they have the proper safety gear to ensure they’ll go home at the end of the day is a massive comfort for cops in urban areas. While some riots are spontaneous events, others are maliciously planned with the intent to injure officers. Whether your team works in law enforcement or corrections, you want them to know and understand that their gear will keep them safe from head to toe.

Let’s examine the components of a riot suit and explore how they ensure maximum safety.

Physics: Curvature Helps with Deflection

You’ll notice that the outer edges of a riot shield are curved inward around an officer’s body. The face shield on the helmet is curved, and so are the pads on the arms and legs. There’s a specific reason for this, and it has to do with physics.

If someone throws a rock or a frozen water bottle at an officer, which option sounds better? Should they accept the full force of the incoming object head-on, or should they deflect it to lessen the impact? 

Deflecting incoming objects is a much better option. The curvature of the various parts of a riot gear set is a purposeful design that helps keep officers safe when objects start flying.

Resistance to Blunt Force and Stabbing

Haven Gear’s modular riot suits are made with molded polypropylene panels, which provide several advantages for officers wearing them.

First, it is incredibly lightweight. If your officers are working crowd control for several hours or an entire night, carrying too much weight can quickly cause exhaustion. Polypropylene’s lightweight construction allows for ease of mobility and won’t tire your officers out as quickly.

Another huge benefit is that the material resists blunt force and stabbing. If someone slashes an officer’s arm with a knife, it’s unlikely even to penetrate the panel. However, note that stab-resistant is not the same as stab-proof. With enough force behind it, a blade could puncture the panels. The panel blunts the incoming force, which makes it less likely for an officer to suffer an internal injury or a nicked artery. 

Polypropylene is also a fire-resistant material. This will keep your team safe if rioters start throwing flaming objects, incendiary devices, or fireworks at them.

Staving Off Dehydration and Heat Stroke

Crowd control during a riot poses a considerable risk of dehydration for your officers. Riots are much less likely to happen during the colder winter months (go figure). That means your officers will be carrying extra gear and on their feet for long hours. Dehydration can quickly lead to sapped strength and “foggy” decision-making skills. 

This is why Haven Gear’s modular riot suits are designed with integrated hydration. Officers can carry a hydration pack and access it from a tube close to their mouth. Dehydration is one of the most significant risks that officers face during a riot, and an integrated hydration system removes this risk.

Officers also face the danger of a heat stroke in these situations. Our riot gear suits come with an integrated cooling system. Hook-and-loop cooling packs can be attached to the suit’s interior and kept against the officer’s body to provide cooling relief. The cooling packs last about four hours and can be easily swapped out for new ones.

Haven Gear’s cutting-edge modular riot suits are designed to meet the challenges of any police force or corrections department in responding to tense riot situations. Explore our options to see which suits are the best option for your team, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Haven Gear if you have any questions!