In many instances, people choose between fire-resistant shirts and pants or coveralls. Is there a difference in safety or comfort? We break down the benefits of each choice and more so you can make an informed decision about which fire-resistant clothing is suitable for you.
FR Clothing and the NFPA Hazard Risk Categories
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a hazard risk assessment for electricians and workers operating at workplaces with possible fire hazards. The NFPA has four hazard risk categories, category one being the least risky and category four being the most dangerous.
Along with these risk categories, the NFPA includes recommended fire-resistant/fire-retardant (FR) clothing to keep workers protected. For example, in category one, the NFPA suggests workers wear a set of fire-resistant pants and shirt or fire-resistant coveralls.
But which is safer for workers, FR shirt and pants or coveralls?
Benefits of FR Shirt and Pants
One of the principal benefits of the FR shirt and pants combination is that it’s more flexible and easier to wear than a heavy set of coveralls. Workers need to be protected, but they don’t want to be constrained so much it slows down their work, which is why some prefer the lighter garments of the FR shirt and pants.
An FR shirt and pants set also gives the wearer more options in choosing size and style. Depending on the work or weather, they can decide which FR shirt and pants work best with that day.
Coveralls are more limited and a one-size-fits-all, whereas a shirt and pants are more versatile.
Benefits of FR Coveralls
Coveralls may not be as flexible as a shirt and pants, but they’re the preferred option for those who want complete and extensive coverage. Since coveralls are one-piece garments, there’s no risk of the shirt or pants accidentally exposing skin while working.
There are no potential gaps in protection with FR coveralls—you’re covered from neck to ankle.
Many workers who regularly wear FR clothing also prefer the simplicity and ease of FR coveralls. Workers can wear street clothes underneath (assuming it’s a category one hazard situation) and simply slip the coveralls on and off before and after work.
Plus, with coveralls, workers only have to wash one garment instead multiple.
In conclusion, there’s not much difference between an FR shirt and pants or coveralls for safety. Coveralls are slightly more extensive in their protection, but the decision will mainly come down to the wearer’s individual preference.
Whether you need a shirt, pants, or coveralls, you can find all the FR clothing you need at FR Outlet!