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People working in any industry that has a hazard of clothing igniting should wear flame-resistant clothing. The bottom line is that FR clothing saves lives!

Most serious burns from industrial mishaps are caused by regular work clothing igniting and burning off the wearer's back. Thousands of clothing-related injuries due to fire occur each year. The most severe burns are often not caused by the original hazard, but rather are the secondary result of clothing igniting. FR clothing does not ignite and continue to burn. Even single-layer FR work clothing can significantly protect employees..

FR clothing is essentially worn as insurance. In the unlikely event of a flash fire or electric arc flash or other catastrophe, FR work clothing reduces burn injury, provides escape time, and increases chances of survival. Even though a person caught in a flash fire or electric arc will likely have some injuries, FR clothing can dramatically reduce their severity. This can mean the difference between life and death.

Survivors often consider burn injury treatment to be worse than the burn itself. Treatment and recovery is extremely painful and can take months if not years. Burn victims can be severely debilitated and permanently disabled. A survivor's quality of life is dramatically affected by the extent and severity of burn injury. FR clothing not only increases the chances of survival, but can significantly enhances the quality of life after the injury.



There are a number of workplace hazards that have the potential to ignite work clothing and cause burn injury. Two common hazards are hydrocarbon flash fires and electric arc flash. This table lists various industries in which these hazards might be present, either as a primary (P) or secondary (S) hazard.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements worn by electrical workers and other personnel working around energized parts.


Safety standards have been developed to protect workers from industrial hazards. Standards related to the performance requirements of FR garments include:

  • NFPA 2112 – Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire: This is a standard for the oil & gas drilling and petrochemical industries. The standard specifies the minimum performance requirements and test methods for FR fabrics, components, and the design and certification requirements for garments for use in areas at risk of flash fires. It requires FR fabrics to pass a comprehensive battery of thermal tests, including:
    • ASTM D6413 Vertical Flame Test
    • ASTM F2700 Heat Transfer Performance (HTP) Test
    • Thermal Stability Test
    • ASTM F1930 Thermal Mannequin Test
  • NFPA 2113 – Selection, Care, Use and Maintenance of Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire: This standard serves as a user's guide for industrial FR clothing. It addresses topics such as hazard assessment, purchasing, cleaning, repairs, storage, decontamination, retiring garments and proper use procedures. This standard requires that garments be certified to NFPA 2112.

  • NFPA 70E – Electrical Safety in the Workplace: This standard specifiesrequirements for workplace electrical safety when working on energized electrical equipment and conductors. It requires the employer to perform a hazard assessment to determine the potential arc flash exposure from theequipment, which establishes the arc rating requirement for the workers' protective clothing. Garments are required to meet the requirements of ASTM F1506.

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