How Do You Know It’s Time to Replace Your Flame-Resistant Clothing?
When the safety of your team is on the line, you want the right gear and protection. You may have invested in FR clothes years ago to help your team stay out of harm’s way while on the job. That said, fireproof clothing can get expensive in a hurry. So how do you find that balance between keeping your flame retardant clothing as long as possible and potentially sacrificing your team’s protection? We hope that this blog post will answer your questions.
Most recognized brands of FR fabric are made to maintain their flame resistance for the life of the garment, however, certain physical damage may compromise the safety. If after realizing that the garment is found incapable of effectively protecting the wearer, it’s time to retire that particular FR clothing. Keep in mind that the purpose of FR shirts, pants, and other FR clothing is to provide a barrier from the thermal hazard. Below you will find the following items that may diminish the effectiveness of FR clothes, warranting removal from service:
- Worn appearance - Be sure to replace garments that have thin spots, holes, or excessive wear and abrasion.
- Mechanical damage - Cuts, rips, tears, open seams, and other damage to fireproof clothing may not be repairable.
- Noticeably altered - FR clothing is made in a way that fits into FR compliance and standards. Garments that have been modified or altered from the original design should be removed from service.
- Improper fit - Be aware that FR clothing should fit loosely, allowing the air gap between the wearer and garment to help with insulation. If the the garment is too big or small, it should be replaced. A garment that’s too big can be a physical hazard, while one’s that’s too small can lose some of its thermal protection.
- Heavily soiled - This is important for those wearing FR clothing in the oil and gas industry. If there are flammable substances on the clothing that can’t be removed by cleaning, those substances may represent a flammability risk. Just know that clothing soiled with combustible chemicals should be handled by experts and done so in accordance with pre-established procedures.
FR Clothing Repair Tips
If your flame resistant clothing could benefit from some simple repairs, consider these tips:
- Always make repairs using fabric consistent with the garment’s original fabric to ensure safety. Folks often don’t realize that other fabric types may react differently to thermal exposure and laundering.
- Non-FR thread can burn quickly and even expose flammable underlayers or bare skin. That’s why it’s necessary to use FR thread for any repair.
- Even when dealing with components such as zipper, buttons, and reflective tape, be sure they are FR rated.
Update Your Gear with Rasco FR Direct
Our team at Rasco FR Direct takes great pride in providing top-of-the-line fireproof clothing for customers. But we also know that after a while, FR garments will need improvements. Be sure to inspect your FR clothes and replace them when they are irreparable so that your workers are always safe.
Shop now for Rasco FR shirts, pants, jeans, and so much more.