Technically, we are all exposed to chaos or bad situations like a home invasion, terrorist attacks, riots, natural disasters, crimes, or political uprising. Having body armor offers a level of protection if you find yourself in such a situation and might even save your life.
Research shows those police officers who fail to wear body armor regularly are three to four times more likely to suffer a fatal injury from a torso shot than officers who routinely put on body armor. However, this doesn’t mean everyone should own body armor. It all depends on your threat level. If you work in high-risk environments or feel in danger, a bulletproof and stab-proof vest is a must-have.
But before you buy a bulletproof and stab-proof vest, here’s what you should know:
They Are Not Bulletproof
Bulletproof is a relative term. In the real world, there is nothing that is bulletproof. The vests are bullet-resistant but cannot protect you from every threat as they are designed to withstand specific calibers and types of bullets. You’ll need a different body armor with specific ballistic systems for stab protection.
The vest is graded to a specific level of protection following the guidelines of international standards for ballistic protection, and the most commonly used is NIJ 0101.04. A bullet can get through a vest rated to stop it in rare situations.
Depending on the velocity, speed, caliber, weight, or even the angle of the shot, and specifics of the bullet, a round can defeat your body armor. The vest is meant to absorb the impact of projectiles. Some vests have stronger absorption than others, depending on their ratings. You should carefully consider the kind of threats you are exposed to and buy a bulletproof and stab proof vest UK designed to defeat them.
A Vest Has a Lifespan
Most bulletproof vests come with a 5-year warranty, the NIJ standard. This is the period your vest is expected to perform to the standard of its rating. However, the actual rating of the vest and its protection capacity depends on how it is used. A vest that is worn regularly loses its protective capability quicker because of wear and tear than that used occasionally.
You should regularly check for any signs of external damage such as creases, tears, burns, or even smells. If you follow the directions provided on how to take care of your vest, it may last for an entire warranty period or even longer.
Avoid Getting Your Body Armor Wet
Socking your vest in water when cleaning it is a bad idea. The vest loses its ballistic performance when its ballistic materials get wet, making the vest susceptible to bullet penetration. If you need to clean them, the best way to do it is with a damp sponge and some gentle soap. Do not throw them in a washing machine, don’t use bleach, put them in a dryer, and never iron them.
After washing your vest, you should ensure you re-insert ballistic panels correctly because they are designed to fit into the carrier in a specific way. Also, lay it down on a flat surface to dry after cleaning it because if the panels get bent out of shape, you can’t iron or straighten them out again.
There is a Difference Between a Stab Vest and Bulletproof Vest
Stab-resistant vests offer different kinds of body armor from bullet-resistant vests. However, bulletproof vests can offer a certain level of stab protection but to a minimal level. Conversely, a stab-resistant vest cannot offer any ballistic protection. There is a huge difference between bullet and stab threats, and the level of technology used to protect against either threat is different.
However, if your environment poses identifiable and realistic operational ballistic and stab threats, you can use multi-threat vests, but they are thicker, heavier, and are more expensive.
A stab-proof vest protects you from any threat from a sharp-tipped object like a knife. Generally, it protects sensitive body parts like the chest, back, and body sides. Most stab-resistant vests use high-performance fiber material called Kevlar. Kevlar is a heat-resistant and strong synthetic fiber with high tensile strength, low density, and an excellent molding capacity.
You Should Get a New Vest if You Have Been Pierced by a Bullet or Stab
People who have been shot at while wearing body armor equate the feeling to being hit with a hammer. The result is a nasty-looking bruise caused by the backface deformation. This injury is not fatal, and you can even respond to neutralize the threat. The latest vests have been designed to minimize the effects of blunt impacts.
However, you should get new body armor after being hit with a bullet or stabbed as the bullet destroys the fibers. Destruction of the ballistic materials in and around the impact spot renders the vest ineffective.
Bulletproof and stab-resistant vests are essential, especially for law enforcement officers. They face various kinds of threats in their line of duty, and vests can come in handy in these situations. If you are not a security personnel or officer, handling body armor can be challenging. But with these crucial things in mind, you can now benefit more from your bulletproof and stab-proof vest, even if you are a civilian.