Frequently Asked Questions

Important Information

Limited Warranty

If your item fails because of a mistake we made or a defect in the construction (integral, non-cosmetic stitching breaks, a fastener pulls loose, defective snap, etc.), we will repair or replace the item as warranted for the life of the original purchaser. We reserve the right not to cover any item which is suspected of being used inappropriately, neglected, poorly maintained, or intentionally abused.

As leather is an animal product, even new items may have minor scuffs, wrinkles, scars, or cosmetic blemishes. This is part of the character of full-grain leather. Additional marks and wear from use are also to be expected. Acrylic painting or dyeing of characters may wear, crack, or fade with use. These kinds of issues do not warrant repair or replacement.

This warranty applies to our standard items such as radio straps, suspenders, glove straps, etc. It does not apply to custom orders or orders made specifically to customer’s specifications.

Safety Disclaimer

These items do not have NFPA approval or hold any type of certification from any safety organization. They are not designed or intended to be used as life safety devices and should not replace any personal protective equipment or associated parts.

It is the responsibility of the purchaser to use any items obtained from Fire Dog Leatherworks LLC in a safe manner that is consistent with any relevant safety rules and/or regulations.

Additionally, your department may have Standard Operating Procedures or other regulations which do not allow the use of unapproved items. You should always obtain approval from your superiors and/or safety officers before using any item which was not issued directly to you by your organization. We take no responsibility and assume no liability if you use our items in violation of established safety standards, department policy, or in an otherwise unsafe manner.

Refunds & Returns

Sales on all items are final. Please pay careful attention to the sizing instructions listed on the site and make sure the spelling is correct on any stamping requests before submitting your order. If we send you an incorrect item or do not make it according to the specifications you provided when ordering, please get in contact with us ASAP.

Privacy Policy

We use your information to make your item, receive your payment and get it to you. Outside of these purposes, we value your privacy and don’t share any of your personal information. We use Ecwid for our online store and Square Inc to process credit card payments. You can view Ecwid’s privacy policy here. You can view Square’s privacy statement here.

What is the wait time on new orders?

This changes week to week. We try to keep a set of updated times right above the online store to give you a ballpark of how long it will be until production. Our busiest time is October through December and if you’re trying to order a gift, please make sure you place your order plenty early as we quickly run out of time. We do not offer a service to “cut in line for an extra fee” and operate on a first come, first served basis.

In stock items and custom items that are smaller/less involved have a shorter wait. Chinstraps, glove straps, custom gift cards, will ship much more quickly compared to things like Truck Belts and Radio Straps.

You can contact us any time to confirm the wait or see how close we are to getting your order made.

Product Questions

What is the difference between regular leather and the “Traditional” leather items?

Our standard leather is premium latigo. There are no corners cut here, it’s some of the best quality leather money can buy. It comes in many different colors, all drum-dyed at the tannery. When you order most standard items such as Radio Straps, Suspenders, Tool Belts, etc; this is the leather they are crafted from.

Some items are either listed as “Traditional” or have the option for “Traditional” brown latigo. This is the leather we started with and it remains in such high demand we still offer it as an option. The biggest difference is that the Traditional is loaded with tallows and waxes from the tannery. This creates a supremely durable, handsome leather that will resist sweat, water and heat. Because of the heavy oils, it’s resistant to the customization our standard latigo offers. Stamping will accept black dye but paints will not adhere to it. Likewise, light-colored thread will absorb the oils and discolor so a bonded black thread is what we offer for stitching. Make no mistake, the Traditional latigo has incredible properties that make it very well suited to firefighter gear but it highly limits our ability to customize it.

Either latigo will provide you a durable and functional item that will last forever if cared for.

What is the difference between stamping and laser engraving?

Stamps are machined blocks of metal or acrylic and will make deep impressions when pressed into the leather. They offer a “3D” type effect with the icon/letter/number having some depth. Because these stamps need to be machined, we have a standard selection of ones you can pick from.

If we don’t have the stamp you want, there are two options: we can make the stamp OR we can laser engrave your artwork onto the leather.

During the engraving process a pattern is physically burned into the leather. This is done using custom artwork either provided by the customer or that we come up with. Depending on how complicated the engraving is, we may also be able to paint it if desired.

What is the difference between the Seat Belt Buckles and the ITW SuperStrong Buckles?

The SuperStrong Buckles are made from an acetal thermoplastic. They were originally designed for military life-vests but we found they work awesome as quick releases as they have no metal parts to rust and are extremely durable.

We also offer automotive-style Seat Belt Buckles as a more traditional quick release. These are plated to resist corrosion but all buckles of this type will need lubrication with WD-40 or a similar chemical to keep them functioning well after exposure to water.

Either style of buckle will work well and we’ve found it comes down to personal preference.

The Cobra buckle on my item is stiff, is this normal?

Yes. They are designed not to release under load and the leather inside the loop can push against the buckle tab. We make a recessed relief cut into the leather, under the buckle to facilitate its use. You will need to push in on the buckle and activate the release tabs to open it. As the leather breaks in, it will become easier to both secure and release the buckle.

What is the difference between the Standard length and Long length chinstraps?

The standard length is roughly the same length as what comes on most fire helmets from the factory. The Long length is about 10″ longer compared to the Standard length and will let you rock your helmet back to don a facepiece. Most people find it very difficult to perform this technique using a Standard length chinstrap.

Can I order a helmet chinstrap without a quick release buckle?

Sorry, we will not make chinstraps without a quick release buckle, even if specifically requested. There are two main reasons for this:

First, if you were to become caught or stuck by your helmet, it would be very difficult or impossible to remove under tension without a quick release. It would also be possible for strangulation to occur.

Second, if you were to become unconscious/disabled in a fire and a RIT/FAST team had to swap out your facepiece or otherwise quickly remove part of your gear in low/no-visibility conditions, it would cause serious issues when trying to remove your helmet, especially when they’re expecting to find a quick release and there isn’t one.

We have no interest in being preachy and we respect YOUR decisions involving YOUR gear but we don’t want any possibility that an item we made caused inadvertent harm. If you’re thinking about strapping something to or around yourself without an easy way to get it off in an emergency while wearing gloves, make sure you evaluate the risks.