In search of flame-retardant or flame-resistant clothing? May be you have been asked to wear protective clothing at your new job. Whatsoever maybe the case, you now have a reason to be curious and ask—what exactly is flame-retardant or flame-resistant clothing? There are a lot of gradations and needs when it comes to protective clothing.
Today, various industries like automotive, production, and manufacturing are giving significant importance for the use of protective clothing on their job sites. Due to growing demand from these sectors, various companies are coming up with novel designs for flame-resistant as well as flame-retardant protective wear.
Let’s first have a walk through the basic meanings of flame-retardant and flame-resistant clothing.
What is flame-resistant clothing?
This clothing is designed using inherently nonflammable materials. These materials have a chemical structure that is naturally resistant to fire. Clothing made out of this material can catch fire, but they will either self-extinguish or burn at an extremely slow speed. This means that the fibers and threads of this material will naturally self-extinguish.
These clothing are developed with an aim to safeguard the person wearing it from injuries that are caused due to flames. These clothing items do catch fire easily, and even when they do, they can self-extinguish.
What is flame-retardant clothing?
This type of clothing is designed using flame retardants, which are chemicals or materials used for smothering fire propagations. These type of clothing are mainly made for stopping or decreasing the speed of spread of fire.
What is the difference between flame-resistant and flame-retardant clothing?
Flame resistant clothing are developed using materials that have flame resistance embedded into their chemical structure. Whereas, flame retardant clothing are chemically treated to self-burn or self-extinguish when exposed to fire.
And while both of these are equally safe to use, the only difference in these protective clothing is the material that is used. Both are designed to self-extinguish and lessen the probability and sternness of injuries. Any of these protective wear can sufficiently defend you from threats and injuries related to fire.
How to pick the perfect protective wear for your job?
1. Check its laundry and maintenance guidelines
Those protective clothing that are treated chemically will only uphold their flame resistant properties until a few number of washes. After washing it several times they might lose their flame resistant qualities, hence it is very necessary to check its guidelines and rules for washing and maintenance.
As compared to flame retardant clothing, flame-resistant clothing are expected to last longer as these clothing are made using fabrics that are inherently flame-resistant.
2. Compare the cost
Flame-retardant protective wear is generally more reasonable than flame-resistant protective wear. But, it’s a tradeoff.
It is better to spend more on flame-resistant clothing and use it for a longer period rather than spending less on flame-resistant clothing and replace it frequently.
3. Check the level of protection
When it comes to the degree of protection, all brands of protective clothing have a tag showing the level to which it will safeguard you.
Usually, lesser danger jobs only require Level 1 or 2. However, person involved in electric tasks generally requires a protective wear that offers Level 3 protection. It is advised to confirm with your administrator or the safety expert of the company to understand which level of protection you will be needing for your job.
4. Check the level of comfort
Comfort should be given prime importance as you are supposed to wear something that isn’t heavy or bulky. If it is too heavy or uncomfortable, it can make you sweat heavily, bring restriction in your movements, or irritate you. If this happens, you are likely to take it off and wear something else—which can be dangerous. And obviously you don’t want that to happen. Hence, get yourself a protective wear that is lighter in weight and comfortable. When you wear bulky or uncomfortable clothing it will make you irritated and angry, and hamper your work as well as productivity.