When you’re asked the question, “What can fire-resistant clothing protect against?” it’s easy to simply respond with “fire” and move on. However, fire can occur in many ways, so we’re going to take the time today to go over all the various burns fire-resistant clothing protects its users from.
Most people in dangerous lines of work involving fire don’t get burned by a standing fire. While these are uncommon, it’s difficult not to notice a fire that’s been burning for a while and walk right into it.
That’s why a majority of fire-related burns occur when there’s a flash fire. Flash fires are sudden and expand rapidly; the fire is impossible to ignore and to avoid. While flash fires are more common in some industries than others, it’s a big enough problem that most industrial jobs require fire-resistant clothing solely for these incidences.
The severity of flash fires worsens if the location in question habitually has combustible dust lying around. An excellent example of this is paper plants. Due to all the trees used to create paper, tons of sawdust is on the ground and floating through the air at all times. If a fire were to break out, it would spread rapidly by chaining through all nearby dust. This would, of course, catch employees off-gaud, resulting in them getting severely burned.
While a fire-resistant outfit won’t save some if they’re right next to an explosion when it happens, it can protect them from the output created at the tail end of the explosion. This is very useful in the oil refinery industry since explosions are more common there. If a person is regularly working around explosive areas, though, they’ll need something that will offer them better protection.
For the final hazard in our list covering what fire-resistant clothing can protect against, we’re going to cover arc flashes. Arc flashes occur when electrical explosions produce a high amount of brightness and heat, burning people who are too close by. They are the only non-fire-related danger fire-resistant clothing effectively protects against.
Although single layers of fire-resistant clothing are usually strong enough to block arc flashes, we can layer them to get a higher arc rating. If you’re looking to do this, we’d recommend you check out our fire-resistant Henley shirts. They are loose-fitting, which makes wearing a fire-resistant undershirt easier and more comfortable. Plus, they’re very breathable when compared to standard fire-resistant shirts.