This is one of most important questions to ask if you are working in an environment that has thermal hazards. Too often, workers experience severe thermal hazards, especially when they are not wearing the proper flame resistant clothing - or not wearing any flame-resistant outerwear at all. We all know that the result could be a severe injury, or even death. That’s why you should buy flame resistant outerwear that can provide you with the protection you need while working.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has already defined a flame resistant (FR) property as “The property of a material whereby flaming combustion is prevented, terminated, or inhibited following application of a flaming or nonfoaming source of ignition, with or without subsequent removal of the ignition source.”
Fire resistant outerwear is also known as FR clothing. If you are looking for FR clothing, beware of cheap imitations and always make sure that you buy original clothing from reputable supplier. Here are a few great points to consider when choosing your FR clothing. This will not only help you to go for the right FR clothing, but will also help you to take some precautions when working in dangerous industries.
Your Work Environment
This is the most important factor that one needs to consider. You might be working in a dangerous industry like electrical, natural gas, mining, oil refineries, oil and gas drilling, etc. Out of these industries, the one that causes the most burn injuries is oil and gas drilling. It causes horrible burn injuries as a result of flash fires or arc flashes. So, considering the industry you work in, your FR clothing also has to be suitable for the environment. When you buy flame resistant outerwear, make sure that your FR clothing has been properly graded to ensure that it provides you with the protection you need.
Choosing the Right Fit
Another key factor in the selection of flame resistant outerwear is to ensure that you get the right fit. Clothing that is too loose could be dangerous, especially when dealing with machines, but there’s another reason too. Wearing clothing that is too tight, can be dangerous as it reduces the air gap between the skin and the fabric. This air gap acts as a barrier between material and the skin when exposed to thermal hazards. Tighter clothes will transfer more thermal energy to the skin, causing severe body damage.
When you talk about the breathability of FR clothing, it is generally a combination of various fabrics and fabric characteristics that make you feel comfortable. Another factor could be the color you choose for your FR clothing. Darker fabric becomes hot very quickly, compared to light colored fabrics.
NFPA 2112 Standard
This is the standard for flame resistant clothing, that will help to protect you against injuries. The main goal of using this standard while buying flame resistant outerwear is that the garment itself doesn’t become the reason for a severe burn injury.
With this being said, always buy FR clothing that has passed this test. When you look for the NFPA standard, the most notable factor is the test they have to pass, which is ASTM F1930-15. This is the standard way of testing for flame resistant clothing.
A wear test was carried out in a tropical U.S. climate, where the temperature and moistness were high year-round. The test concluded that a 7-ounce flame resistant shirt was more effective in that weather, than a regular, 5.5-ounce shirt.
Protective Garments for Arc Flash Hazards
This is the most common flame that may occur in specific working environments. It’s actually an electric current that passes through air. More than 505 injuries are caused due to people coming in contact with arc flashes, so if you are working around these flames, you need to strictly follow the NFPA 70E standard that ensures clothing is flame resistant.
Is 100% cotton a “safety” fabric? This is a dilemma for many people. While this material could be protective in some cases, as per the NFPA standards, it’s better to avoid 100% cotton garments. This is because cotton fabric can ignite easily, and continue to burn if exposed to an ignition source.
Other Important Factors
Other factors might include the color and durability of a garment. However, this is a secondary factor. Even the type of garment you choose is important, for e.g. jeans, coveralls, pullover shirts, or even heavy T-shirts. These are the basic precautionary factors that one has to strictly adhere to when buying any fire-resistant garment. Regardless of these factors, one should also consider the local fire and safety requirements that govern your specific working industry.
When it comes to safety, decisions should be made on facts and proven standards by the authorities. At UniformsInStock, we follow these standards very strictly and we can help you get the right flame resistant clothing for your specific working environments.
Keep in mind that we can also help you to get your logo or slogan branded on this outerwear. It’s a good idea to have your employees wear professional clothing, especially if you want a supportive working environment.
For more information about our flame resistant outerwear, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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