Body piercings have become increasingly popular over the past few decades, and many people have earrings, nose rings, and tongue rings. So, what happens if you’re a firefighter? Are you allowed to wear earrings?
Firefighters can wear earrings if their fire department’s rules allow it. Some fire departments allow their firefighters to wear earrings, as long as they don’t pose a safety risk, while others require earrings to be removed or taped up while on duty.
In this article, I’ll discuss whether or not firefighters can wear earrings. I’ll also explain what happens when a firefighter has an ear piercing and works for a fire department that doesn’t allow piercings.
Are Firefighters Allowed To Wear Earrings?
A firefighter’s job is very physical, and it’s not a good idea for them to wear anything that prevents them from performing their firefighting duties safely.
Firefighters are allowed to wear earrings if their fire department permits it. Most fire departments allow firefighters to wear earrings if they’re not too large or offensive. Stricter fire departments might require their firefighters to have no visible piercings.
A good example is the Greeley Fire Department’s dress code. Greeley Fire Department firefighters are not allowed to wear earrings while on duty, but they may have small piercings in the ear to facilitate regular stud earrings when not on duty.
The Manhattan Fire Protection District’s dress code allows female firefighters to wear small, conservative stud earrings, but men may not have ear piercings.
In the United Kingdom, the London Fire Brigade’s dress code requires their firefighters to cover up any piercings. Piercings covered by the firefighter’s uniform are permitted, but ear piercings need to be taped up or the earring removed.
When fire departments allow firefighters to wear earrings, the earrings must generally be stud or post earrings. This earring style is unlikely to get caught on passing objects and is considered safer than hoop earrings.
Gauge piercings stretch the ear lobe, and the stretched-out space is filled with a plug. These piercings are still relatively new, and they are not yet considered mainstream, so some fire departments don’t allow them.
Some fire departments allow their firefighters to wear hoop earrings, but they must hug the ear closely so they can’t get caught on anything.
What Can Firefighters Do if They’re Not Allowed To Wear Earrings?
I’ve explained that most fire departments allow their firefighters to wear earrings if they aren’t a safety hazard. So, what happens if a firefighter wears earrings and gets a job at a fire department that doesn’t allow it?
If they’re not allowed to wear earrings, firefighters will either have to remove the earring while on duty, place tape over it or wear a retainer to keep the piercing hole open.
I’ll discuss these options in more detail below:
Remove the Earring
Some fire departments are conservative in how they expect their firefighters to dress and don’t allow any visible piercings, including earrings.
In such cases, the firefighter may continue to wear the earring while off-duty but will have to remove it before arriving at work. The firefighter would have to make an effort to remember to replace the earring while off duty so that the hole doesn’t grow closed.
Place Tape Over the Earring
Many fire departments don’t allow earrings because of the potential safety risk. Firefighters work in environments where earrings can easily get caught on nearby objects or even melt when the firefighter comes in close contact with fire.
Some fire departments allow their firefighters to cover their earrings with tape instead of removing them. The firefighter can use regular sticky tape, a band-aid, masking tape, or foundation tape, which conceals the earring perfectly.
This tattoo cover and foundation tape adheres to the skin effectively and won’t come off while the firefighter is on duty.
Wear a Retainer
An excellent alternative to a firefighter removing their earring or concealing it with tape while on duty is to wear a retainer.
Retainers are transparent and often made from acrylic. Wearing a retainer allows the firefighter to keep their piercing hole open, but no one will likely notice that they’re wearing it.
These flexible piercing retainers are transparent, minimalist, and almost completely undetectable.
Whether or not a firefighter is allowed to wear earrings depends on the rules at the fire department.
Most fire departments allow their firefighters to wear earrings as long as they don’t pose a safety hazard, aren’t offensive, and are not too big. Firefighters may not usually have gauge-style piercings as this is still a new style and considered offensive in some communities.
If the firefighter has an ear piercing and works for a fire department that does not allow it, they can remove the earring while on duty, cover it with tape, or wear a retainer.