How to Choose the Best Flame-Resistant Clothing for Your Industry

Keeping your workers safe is priority number one. If your workplace involves fire hazards, like welding,  flame resistant clothing is a must-have. But with all the different types of FR gear out there, how do you pick the right one for your industry? Don’t worry—this guide will help you navigate the world of FR clothing and find the perfect fit for your team.

Why FR Clothing Matters

FR clothing protects wearers from burns caused by flames, sparks, and intense heat. It’s made from materials that won’t easily catch fire and can even self-extinguish when the heat source is removed. This can significantly reduce the risk of serious injuries in an accident.

Not All FR Clothing is Created Equal

Just like fire itself, FR clothing comes in different intensities. The level of protection you need depends on the specific hazards of your workplace. Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Low-risk environments: Think light welding or jobs with occasional spark exposure. Here, basic FR garments made from naturally flame-resistant materials like cotton or wool might be sufficient.
  • Moderate-risk environments include heavier welding, soldering, or working near furnaces. FR clothing with a special flame-resistant treatment will provide better protection.
  • High-risk environments: If your workers are constantly exposed to flames, electrical arcs, or molten metals, you’ll need high-performance FR gear. This typically involves multi-layered clothing with specific heat protection ratings.

Understanding the Ratings

Two key ratings you’ll encounter when shopping for FR clothing are:

  • Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV): This indicates the amount of heat energy (in calories per square centimetre) a fabric can withstand before causing a second-degree burn. Higher ATPV means better protection from electrical arcs.
  • Energy Breakopen Threshold (EBT): This measures the energy for the FR clothing to break open and expose the wearer’s skin. A higher EBT is desirable.

Choosing the Right Gear for Your Industry

Now that you know the basics, let’s explore some common industries and their FR clothing needs:

  • Construction: FR shirts, pants, and coveralls are essential for welders, pipefitters, and anyone working around torches or open flames.
  • Electrical work: Electricians working on live circuits should wear FR clothing with high ATPV ratings to protect themselves from electrical arcs.
  • Oil and gas: Workers on drilling rigs or refineries need FR clothing that can handle flash fires and high heat.
  • Manufacturing: Depending on the specific processes, FR clothing might be necessary for workers in foundries, chemical plants, or textile mills.

Beyond Protection: Comfort and Wearability

While protection is key, comfort shouldn’t be an afterthought. FR clothing should be breathable and allow a good range of motion, especially for physically demanding jobs. Look for features like moisture-wicking fabrics and adjustable fits to keep workers cool and comfortable throughout their shifts.

Caring for FR Clothing

FR clothing isn’t invincible. Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial to ensure it retains its flame-resistant properties. Always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions, which typically involve special washing detergents and avoiding harsh chemicals.


  • Consult your industry safety standards and regulations to determine your workplace’s specific FR clothing requirements.
  • Be bold and ask questions! Talk to safety experts or FR clothing manufacturers to get recommendations for your specific needs.
  • Invest in quality FR clothing. It’s a small price to pay for the safety of your workers.

Final Thoughts

Following these tips, you can choose the best flame-resistant clothing for your industry and keep your team safe from fire hazards. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and when it comes to fire safety, there’s no room for compromise.