Ever wondered if there was any clothing that could withstand the onslaught of flames? Ever thought about wearing clothing that could not be susceptible to extreme heat or fire? If you have, there is clothing that is made specifically to withstand flames. We refer them to as flame retardant clothing.
But what is it? And how does the clothing work?
FR clothing falls under specialized personal protective clothing. This is so because we use them in many workplaces that involve the inherent risk of fire outbreaks or explosions.
FR clothing has become the last method of fire control in the work environment and places like refineries, pharmaceutical, and chemical companies, food processing companies, electricity distribution companies, Welding and fabrication industry, and much more. They designed FR clothing to protect wearers from fire, open flames, or hot objects in the above workplaces.
Apart from the fact that FR clothing and workwear serve as one of the safety measures in a workplace, there’s one issue in acquiring them. FR clothing is quite pricey. Typical overall workwear for an employee in a refinery could well be up to a thousand dollars or more.
But why so expensive?
There are several reasons this has been the case with FR clothing. And as the economy of the world changes, these reasons will remain so for a long time. Here are some reasons.
Type of Material
They made FR clothing from materials that are self-extinguishing. They then incorporated these materials into the FR workwear. Some manufacturers use natural fibers like wool and silk, which are hard to ignite or melt.
The heavier and tighter these materials are in the FR clothing, the more resistant it would be to fire. This can make the FR clothing from the manufacturer to be expensive.
Some use synthetic fibers like polyesters and nylon, which are as effective as natural fibers. FR materials from this would be quite pricey given the technique used in making them.
There is also FR clothing made from fabrics like cotton and wool. These materials don’t compare to wool or silk because they easily ignite, making flame spread easily.
However, some manufacturers treat these materials with special chemicals—the chemicals act by depriving oxygen needed for the Flame Retardant Workwear to burn.
These materials, whether or not synthetic, are quite expensive to get or source for. And because it has to do what we mean it for, it consumes a lot of material in the making. So, the type of material would determine the price of FR clothing.
Quality and Workmanship
Another reason FR clothing is expensive is because of the process required in making them. They geared FR clothing towards the safety and preservation of life. So, it required a great deal of process in making them.
There’s a certain grade and standard that FR materials need to meet globally. Anything less than these standards are a little short of quality. Therefore, depending on the workplace, when getting FR clothing, look out for their EN standards.
Some of them include:
-EN11612 – Protective Clothing Against Flame/Heat
-EN11611 EN470 – Welding Protection Clothing
-EN14116 EN533 – Flame Protection Clothing
Manufacturers exhibit a great deal of workmanship in making FR clothing. Some of this workmanship is even on the molecular level, where the FR properties are infused into the final clothing material. And they have to conform to the global standards required of them. This makes FR clothing expensive to get.
Functionality Of Fire-Retardant Workwear
FR clothing goes beyond just protecting individuals from fire outbreaks in a workplace environment. In the event of unavoidable accidents, they have observed FR clothing to reduce burn injuries and ultimately save the individual’s life.
Most victims of fire accidents do not suffer from burns from the hazards themselves but because of their cloth burning. The ignited clothing leads to the severe burning of the skin.
When FR clothing is worn over, it reduces the flammability of your cloth material by physically blocking the fire or initiating a chemical reaction that stops the fire. Since it is self-extinguish, it does not ignite or continue to burn after the heat source or flame has been removed.
In this way, the FR clothing reduces the intensity and severity of burn injuries. It can mean a lot between life and death. Another peculiar thing with FR workwear is its ability to reduce the amount of heat that enters the skin during a fire accident.
With the intricacies involved, you can see that FR clothing is more than just one of the regular PPE’s.
It Range Of Use In Industries
We use FR Workwear in a lot of heavy-duty industries. These industries require a high degree of safety. A place where welding and fabrication take place would require safety to be paramount. There has to be a lot of precision even with the safety gadgets that are being worn.
Fire Fighting Service is an essential service for the public. The overalls worn by firefighters are FR clothing and definitely of high quality. Another place where FR clothing is a ‘must-use in the oil and gas industry. The quality of FR clothing needed in this place is nothing short of being high.
With all these in mind, manufacturers make FR clothing with a lot of special processes. And, of course, there’s a business side attached to every manufacturing industry out there. The cost of production would be a factor that would determine the pricing for these clothes to sell.
While FR clothing is expensive, there is something you can do as an employer if you’re looking to get them for better prices. You can get in direct contact with manufacturers who can make them for you according to specification and design.
Xenke Protectives is one of such leading manufacturers. Xenke Protectives FR workwear can be customized to your choice of color, style, material, and application area. Xenke Protectives can do a free design for you to meet your application needs.
Choose Xenke Protectives today!