Fire Resistant clothing is needed to protect workers who may be exposed to the risk of fire or arc flash. If non-Fire Resistant clothing, such as cotton, is worn when exposed to these risks it will increase the injuries suffered from the incident. Non-Fire Resistant clothing will continue to burn after the source of the flame has been removed at an increasing rate, until all flammable material is consumed.
The flame from the continued burning of cotton or other non-Fire Resistant clothing will often cause more intense burns than the original incident itself. Burning clothing will also cause injuries to areas of the body that had not been exposed to the original incident.
Fire Resistant clothing’s key characteristic is that it will self-extinguish when the source of the flame is removed. Good Fire Resistant clothing should also resist ignition, not melt, drip or break open when exposed to fire or arc flash. These characteristics greatly improve the survival rates and outcomes of anyone exposed to arc flash or flash fire. Fire Resistant clothing will not prevent all injuries in the case of a flash fire or arc flash incident but they will significantly reduce the injuries and give the wearer an ability to escape the incident.