Flame resistant clothing: What is it and why is it important?

Flame resistant clothing (FR Clothing) is self-extinguishing and non-melting which will limit exposure and injury. Workers can be engulfed in flames during an electric arc or flame condition and most severe burns and fatalities are caused by non-flame resistant clothing igniting and continuing to burn. Skin that is under non-flame resistant clothing is often burned more severely than exposed skin.

Isn’t FR clothing hot, scratchy, and uncomfortable? Not anymore, in the past few years there has been a major shift in flame resistant clothing. FR clothing is now made from lighter, softer, more breathable fabrics and is available in styles virtually identical to “street clothing”. Some examples of FR clothing include Nomex/Rayon blends, Indura UltraSoft®, knits, fleeces, cottons, and denims.

FR clothing is helpful for fire but arc-rated clothing is required to be protected from an arc flash blast. All arc-rated clothing is flame resistant but not all flame resistant clothing is arc-rated. An arc rating is value attributed to materials that describes their performance to exposure to an electrical arc discharge. All PPE must be worn properly to be effective.

Survival, extent of injury, recovery time, and quality of life are all dependent on FR clothing performance. With all this at risk, why would you NOT wear the appropriate clothing?

For more information, contact OCS Group at (281) 393-4704.