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The Benefits of Flame Resistant Uniforms

The Benefits of Flame Resistant Uniforms

When exposed to a flame, it is vital to know how fast a person’s clothing will catch fire. The longer

it takes for fabric to ignite, the more time is available for a person to escape with minimal injury.

Many fabrics can ignite quickly, exposing the wearer to a high risk of injuries, even with minimal

contact. Whether artificial like rayon or natural like cotton, cellulosic fibers are the most

flammable used in making clothing. Synthetics like polyester and nylon take a bit longer to ignite so

they only provide a limited degree of protection.

Protein fibers like silk and wool are hard to ignite, but they aren’t practical choices for uniforms.

Flame resistant work wear made from modacrylic are designed to be difficult to ignite. If the

clothing will not burn, the wearer is less likely to sustain injuries from a fire.

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When exposed to a fire long enough, practically any type of fiber will eventually burn. How the

fabric reacts during combustion determines the severity of the injuries sustained by the wearer.

Cotton burns down to ash and flakes away. It will not trap heat on the skin. Slower to ignite

synthetic fibers melt and fuse directly to the skin. Even when extinguishing the fire, the heat from

this type of melted fabric will continue to burn the skin tissue. It is impossible to remove the

melted fabric unless you also remove some skin along with it.
This further increases the severity of the injury. The fabric can drip as it melts to other parts of

the body, not only causing further injury, but also spreading the fire.

Flame resistant uniforms burn slowly when exposed to a flame for an extended period, but they pull

away from the flame as they burn, preventing further exposure and melting.

The fabric used in flame resistant uniforms will not fuel a fire. They burn slowly and produce gas

that works to push away oxygen, which starves the flame. They self extinguish almost instantly and

within seconds become cool to touch.

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