What is FR Clothing?
Feb 1, 2019
Flame Resistant (or FR, as it is commonly abbreviated to) clothing refers to any clothing that is designed to protect the wearer from potential intermittent flames and thermal exposure. Contrary to popular belief, FR clothing is not completely fire resistant; instead, its main purpose is to provide the wearer a greater chance of escape and survival should they ever find themselves in a flash fire, arc flash or another unexpected thermal problem.
How should FR clothing fit?
When it comes to FR clothing, the general rule of thumb is that a looser fit offers more protection. Why? When a garment is a bit looser, it adds an additional layer of air between you and the garment, which functions as extra insulation against any heat or flames you may encounter while wearing the garment. However, you should not take this as an invitation to buy the baggiest piece of clothing you can find; too loose and your clothing will be more likely to catch or snag, which could leave you trapped or vulnerable to your surroundings.
What should you wear underneath FR clothing?
The garments you choose to wear under your fire resistant clothing have a significant impact on your safety and the effectiveness of your FR garments. Whenever you wear FR items, you should always wear non-melting garments underneath. By doing this, you are adding a second layer of protection should you need it, and ensuring that the layer closest to your skin will not melt or ignite should the thermal temperature spike.
How long does FR clothing last?
The longevity of any piece of FR clothing depends entirely on a number of factors, including the manufacturer, the quality of the garment, the general wear and tear and even the environment it is most often worn in. Some fire resistant clothing may last as long as five years, while others may be due for a replacement after a year. Longevity in any garment starts with the manufacturer – look closely at the material they use and how it is constructed.
How to wash and dry FR clothing
Fortunately, the cleaning process is very simple; you can wash and dry your FR clothing as you would other clothing items. However, it is good practice to hang these garments to dry, to prevent shrinking. Avoid the use of chlorine bleach or fabric softeners, and make a habit of washing these items separately from your other clothing – you never know what may be lingering on the material. If you would prefer, FR clothing can be dry cleaned as well.
Can I repair FR clothing?
Definitely, but it’s a little more complicated than simply patching a hole with a needle and thread. In order to properly repair your fire resistant clothing, the material you use needs to be consistent with the original material in order to maintain its full fire resistant attributes. Failing to do so can result in the entire garment being compromised, which poses a hazard to the wearer. If your garment needs repairs, it’s best to contact the manufacturer directly to ensure the repairs are done properly.
How do I know when it’s time to replace my garment?
If your garment has holes or tears that are too large to be repaired properly, or the fabric itself has become too thin to adequately protect against the elements… you should replace it. If you notice bleach stains or the garment has come into contact with flammable substances, such as gasoline, you should replace it. Fire resistant garments lose their ability to protect you from burns when they become worn out and it’s a wise idea to inspect them regularly to ensure they are in safe, working condition.
Shop for Fire Resistant clothing at Promotional Wearhouse!
We are proud to offer great quality FR work wear at unbeatable prices. Our Nomex coveralls are extremely popular, well priced and can be embroidered with your logo and employee name bars. Oversize options are available as well!