Flame-resistant (FR) clothing is a type of personal protective equipment (PPE) specifically designed to protect workers from potential intermittent flames and thermal exposure. FR clothing is engineered to resist ignition, prevent the spread of flames away from the immediate area of high heat impingement, and self-extinguish almost immediately upon removal from the ignition source.
FR clothing is commonly used in industries that involve the risk of fire or explosion, such as electrical, chemical, oil and gas, and firefighting.
Below are some facts about FR clothing:
- It’s not fireproof: FR clothing is designed to resist ignition and inhibit the spread of flame, not to completely prevent or extinguish fires.
- It can vary in protection levels: Not all FR clothing offers the same level of protection. Some garments are designed to resist flash fire (sudden, intense fire caused by the ignition of a diffuse fuel), while others protect against electric arc flash (a type of heat/light explosion that results from an electrical fault).
- Proper fit is important: FR clothing should fit properly to provide maximum protection. If it’s too small, it can potentially tear or rip open, and if it’s too large, it can catch on equipment or allow heat or flames to go up the garment.
- It requires special care: To maintain the flame-resistant properties, FR clothing should be cleaned and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
It’s important to note that while FR clothing can provide significant protection, it’s not a substitute for safe work practices. Always follow your company’s safety protocols and guidelines when working in hazardous environments.