If you’ve never witnessed open fires, potentially sparking objects, and other flaming items, it can be difficult to fully appreciate just how important it is to be fully protected by fire resistant clothing on the job. The direct injuries caused by the flames themselves can certainly be serious. But due to the relatively short duration of flash fire, they often aren’t the worst hazard you face. In many cases, the most serious injuries occur when clothing ignites and continues to burn next to the skin. Clothing can burn until the fuel source is fully extinguished, causing devastating skin injuries.
Fire resistant clothing stops burning when the source of the flame or electric arc is removed. The material self-extinguishes and stops burning the skin by pushing oxygen away and starving the flame. The clothing should be washable and remain fire resistant. After decades of research and testing, the standard chemical used to make clothing fire resistant is tetrakis (hydroxymethyl) phosphonium chloride (THPC) because it reacts to high heat, turning the material into non-flammable carbon without causing adverse reactions to the person wearing it.
FR clothing made of materials like pure wool and silk do not melt or catch fire easily when exposed to fire. They can be used directly for the fabrication of FR clothing without any need for chemical treatment. Other than that the synthetic polymers like nylon and polyester also offer desired resistance to flames. Materials such as cotton, linen, synthetic that do not possess the fire resistance characteristics naturally can be converted into the same by treating them with chemicals.
Clearly, someone wearing FR clothing has a huge advantage over a non-protected worker working in flammable work environments. It’s not enough to rely on luck to protect you. Make sure you’re wearing the proper clothing to ensure you survive in the event of any mishappening.
Today’s fire-resistant (FR) clothing is functional, fashionable and comfortable. Thanks to industry safety standards and companies wanting to protect their workers, manufacturers like Tarasafe engineers a full line of FR workwear that looks great while meeting safety standards.