Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Flame Resistant Clothing

Posted on: 24 December 2014

In an industrial setting, flame resistant clothing provides a valuable layer of protection that is hard to beat because it is the first line of defense between the skin and an open flame. For how many people who wear this clothing on a daily basis, it's surprising that many still have no idea how this clothing works or what it is capable of doing. Whether it is a pair of trousers or a fire resistant smock, you most likely have a few questions floating around about fire resistance. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions concerning flame resistant clothing.

If there is a rip in flame resistant materials does it compromise its effectiveness?

If your FR clothing is ripped or torn, it leaves an open area where a flame could make its way into your clothing to your skin. Therefore, this can compromise the effectiveness of the clothing. If you have rips or tears, it is best to have your clothing mended by an industrial professional that will use the same materials to patch those areas, right down to the thread used during sewing.

Is there a certain way that FR clothing should be cleaned?

Flame resistance comes from both the use of certain fibers and chemical treatments during manufacturing. Therefore, normal washing is usually fine for the material and the use of laundry detergents and soaps is okay. Bleach should be left out of the laundering process as the chlorine may compromise flame resistance.

How do you know it is time to replace your FR clothing?

It is a good idea to check with the clothing manufacturer for durability information about the fire resistant properties as the treatment methods used in the manufacturing process can range from one place to the next. However, most will also recommend that once the clothing has damage that cannot be repaired, such as holes, rips, or tears, it is a good idea to find replacement pieces. Furthermore, if your clothing is starting to wear thin, this is more than likely going to compromise its effectiveness.

In a fire situation, normal clothing provides no protection in the way of flame resistance. The majority of clothing is created with cotton and polyester fibers that are highly flammable and would go up in flames in mere seconds if exposed. when you realize just how valuable FR clothing is, it is easy to appreciate what it does for your personal safety.