At FR Outlet, we don’t just sell flame-resistant garments—we also want to inform the public and individuals requiring protective clothing about these garments. This guide will take a close look at flame-resistant coveralls and everything you need to know, from how they’re different to considerations before purchasing.
What Does Flame-Resistant Clothing Mean?
First, let’s go over the basics of flame-resistant (FR) garments, like what it means for clothing to be flame-resistant. FR clothes are special garments designed and engineered to protect the wearer from flames and extreme heat and avoid catching fire.
Flame-resistant clothing isn’t invincible and can still ignite when exposed to extreme heat. Fortunately, it has self-extinguishing properties so that flames don’t spread and will extinguish when removed from the heat source. Industrial workers, firefighters, and anyone else who may come into contact with extreme heat and fire wear flame-resistant clothing.
Is There a Difference Between Flame-Resistant & Flame-Retardant Clothing?
You may hear flame-resistant and flame-retardant labels used interchangeably for protective clothing, but they’re different. While “FR” can refer to resistant or retardant, the garments have a subtle difference.
Flame-resistant clothing is made of materials inherently resistant to fire and heat. On the other hand, flame-retardant garments are chemically treated fabrics to achieve self-extinguishing and protective qualities. The difference to the wearer is mostly insignificant.
What Is a Flame-Resistant Coverall?
Now, we’ll discuss flame-resistant coveralls and what you need to know about them. A coverall is a type of FR clothing that, as you may guess, covers almost your entire body with a single garment.
Like a fire-retardant jumpsuit, a coverall is a one-piece protective clothing that defends against flames, heat, and arc flashes. While these coveralls protect against many fire dangers, they’re not completely fireproof. They reduce the effects of heat and flame-related injuries but don’t prevent them outright.
How Are Coveralls Different From Other FR Clothing?
Rather than wearing a combination of an FR shirt and pants, a coverall removes the risk of protection gaps and is generally considered the most protective FR garment an individual could wear. This one-piece garment removes the danger to exposed skin or flammable underlayers subjected to heat and flame.
Individuals should note that coveralls are not the same as bib overalls, which look like typical overalls and only protect the legs and lower torso. FR coveralls protect the legs, torso, shoulders, and arms of the wearer.
What Should You Wear Underneath FR Coveralls?
An FR coverall protects the entire body as a one-piece garment. What about underneath the coverall? What should a person wear?
The ideal undergarment for coveralls depends on many factors, including the potential dangers and fire hazards. For instances where extreme heat, flames, or arc flashes are present, it’s wise to also wear FR clothing underneath coveralls, like a shirt, pants, and undergarments. For less hazardous environments, we recommend wearing garments made of fibers with high melting points, like wool, silk, and cotton.
Can You Wash FR Coveralls?
What about the maintenance of FR coveralls? Flame-resistant coveralls are like any clothing you may wear at work—they get dirty and need to be cleaned. Most industrial workplaces requiring FR clothing also provide washing services to their employees. Keep these key things in mind if you must wash FR clothing at home.
You should wash FR clothes separately from others and can do so in a typical washing machine with regular laundry detergent. You should never wash FR clothes with the following products:
- Chlorine bleach
- Non-chlorine bleach
- Fabric softeners
The chemicals in these products can damage the self-extinguishing properties of the FR fabrics. Your FR clothing should have detailed washing instructions, so always consult them before washing.
Where Can I Buy FR Coveralls?
If you need FR coveralls for work or hobbies, you might wonder where to get them. As we mentioned, if you need FR clothing for your work, your employer should provide it free of charge.
Anyone who needs FR clothing for personal use can find all kinds of FR clothing at FR Outlet, including coveralls and:
You can find any FR clothing you need for work or personal use in FR Outlet’s wide inventory!
What To Consider When Choosing FR Coveralls
What should you look for and consider before purchasing if you’re in the market for FR coveralls?
Fit & Comfort
The fit of FR coveralls and other clothing is significant for the wearer’s comfort and safety. If FR coveralls are too bulky and loose, they can become burdensome for the wearer and cause fatigue and potentially heat exhaustion.
An FR coverall should be durable and protective. It should also be made of breathable, comfortable fabrics and lightweight enough for you to do taxing work without exhaustion. Of course, a coverall that’s too small and tight isn’t worth much either, as it can tear and make maneuvering difficult.
Protection is essential when choosing an FR coverall. One way to check how protective coveralls are is by looking at their CAT rating.
The CAT rating for FR garments reveals the category of protection the garments provide against arc flashes. There are four CAT ratings, with four being the most protective—so check the rating before purchasing to ensure the garment is sturdy enough for your needs.
Workers looking for FR coveralls should ensure the garments comply with the standards of their industry and workplace. Specific industries must follow many different safety standards regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) and FR clothing, including:
- NFPA 70E (exposure to arc flash hazards)
- NFPA 2112 (standards for the manufacture of FR garments)
- NFPA 2113 (PPE standards for industrial personnel against flash fires)
- NFPA 45 (Fire protection for workers in laboratories with hazardous chemicals present)
You should understand FR coveralls better and why they may be the ideal FR garment for your job or hobby! If you have questions about FR clothing or want to purchase your own FR coveralls, contact our staff at FR Outlet or browse our inventory!