Firefighters, electricians, and other professionals whose jobs put them at risk of fire exposure need to have the right kind of protection in order to stay safe. One of the most important forms of protection is fire retardant clothing.
What is Fire Retardant Clothing?
Fire retardant clothing is clothing that is specifically designed to resist ignition and slow the spread of flames. This can include shirts, pants, and coveralls made from materials that are treated with chemicals to make them resistant to fire, as well as clothing that is made from natural fibers like wool that are naturally fire resistant.
How Does Fire Retardant Clothing Work?
The key to fire retardant clothing is the chemical treatment that is applied to the fabric. These chemicals, called flame retardants, work by creating a barrier around the fabric that prevents flames from reaching the fibers and igniting them. The chemicals also work to slow the spread of flames by releasing water vapor and other gases that cool the fire and prevent it from spreading.
Types of Fire Retardant Clothing
There are several different types of fire retardant clothing available, each designed for specific types of work and environments. Some of the most common types include:
- Structural fire fighting gear: This type of clothing is worn by firefighters and is designed to protect them from the heat and flames of structural fires. It typically includes pants, a jacket, and a helmet.
- Wildland fire fighting gear: This type of clothing is worn by wildland firefighters and is designed to protect them from the heat and flames of wildland fires. It typically includes pants, a jacket, and a helmet.
- Electric arc flash gear: This type of clothing is worn by electricians and other workers who are at risk of exposure to electric arcs. It typically includes pants, a shirt, and a hard hat.
- Flash fire gear: This type of clothing is worn by workers in the oil and gas industry and other environments where flash fires are a risk. It typically includes pants, a shirt, and a hard hat.
Fire retardant clothing is an essential form of protection for workers whose jobs put them at risk of fire exposure. By providing a barrier against flames and slowing the spread of fire, this type of clothing can help to keep workers safe and reduce the risk of serious injury or death. It is important for employers to ensure that their employees have the appropriate fire retardant clothing for their specific job and working environment.