Do we really need Flame Resistant clothing (we haven't had an accident in many years)?
Flame resistant (FR) clothing saves lives because it significantly reduces burn injury, gives the wearer escape time, and increases chances of survival. Providing FR clothing demonstrates management's commitment to safety and employee well-being. It can improve morale as well as increase safety.
What do all these standards and test methods mean?
Performance standards and test methods allow users to objectively evaluate materials, and define minimum performance criteria for fabrics or garments. Using FR products that meet performance standard requirements helps ensure your people are wearing acceptable FR garments.
Isn't FR clothing too expensive?
FR clothing is higher priced than standard work clothing, but it has significantly longer wear life, decreasing replacement costs over time. In addition, the cost of one serious burn injury can often pay for an entire FR clothing program.
Is FR clothing uncomfortable?
FR clothing is a safety item for personnel working in environments with a hazard of clothing igniting. There are many climates where long pants and long sleeve shirts are hot, no matter what the fabric is made of. A variety of FR fabrics are available today, some of which are perceived as being more comfortable than others. FR clothing does not necessarily need to be more uncomfortable than standard clothing.
How should FR garments fit?
The looser fitting the FR garments, the more thermal protection the clothing system will provide. Air is a very effective insulator; therefore, maintaining an air gap between the clothing and skin will improve thermal protection. However, a loose fit must be balanced against the hazard of clothing being caught in moving equipment. Most FR products will shrink either the same or less than standard work clothing, and should be sized accordingly.
How often does FR clothing have to be replaced?
The wear life of FR clothing is very dependent on the type of fabric used and the quality of the garment construction. Some types of garments can last more than 5 years, while other types may last 9 to 18 months. Garments should be replaced when they are beyond repair, contaminated, or aesthetically unacceptable.
When should FR garments be retired?
Garments should be removed from service when they have holes or tears that cannot be repaired, or when the fabric has thinned and become "thread bare." garments contaminated with flammable substances should be removed from service if the garment cannot be adequately decontaminated.