The use of Fire Retardant (FR) fabric has become quite common as a result of industrialization in almost all corners of the globe, and primarily due to exposure to extraordinary conditions faced by workers in certain workplaces. It is therefore important to keep in consideration certain advices that would be useful in terms of handling such fabric in an effective manner, in order not to damage them, and assure long-term safety that they guarantee to provide to the wearer.
Below are certain tips from experts in the FR manufacturing industry to help you in a better way in understanding and utilizing the flameproof fabric.
- Understand the FR fabric you should get based on your needs
There are several types of FR fabric, designed and manufactured by a number of producers. You should be mindful of the type of FR fabric you need based on your requirements or working conditions. Always make sure to get the right combination of material which would serve your purposes.
- Make sure the FR fabric is up to set standards
There are a number of standards used worldwide that make sure that the FR fabric produced is effective enough to withstand high temperatures. Therefore, be sure to verify whether or not the flameproof fabric you intend to use has been made according to the set standards.
- Understand the different FR terminology
FR fabric come in various types, with each kind having distinct property and uses. It is therefore of utmost importance for the user to understand his or her needs and to get the flameproof material which would work best for them. 3 kinds of FR fabric are described below:
- Inherently Flame Retardant or IFR
The IFR fabric is composed of yarns that contain FR additives. IFR type fabric retain their flameproof properties throughout their service life, meaning that the material used to manufacture such fabric cannot worn out nor can it be washed away.
- Treated FR
Contrary to IFR fabric, treated fabrics are composed of non-permanent, but registered fire retardant chemicals during their production. Based on the material they are made up of, the service life of treated fabric is limited, and would require retreatment after certain time period.
- Cannot be Flameproofed (CFP)
CFP are the type of fabric that cannot be made flameproof with the help of any treatment methodology made available which will not compromise the internal composition of the material itself.
- Understand the importance of the term Limiting Oxygen Index (LOI)
The term Limiting Oxygen Index is used to determine the least amount of oxygen required for a polymer that forms a fabric to catch fire. LOI is considered to be a relevant indicator in terms of flame retardancy. The value differs for different types of fabric, however, greater the value, the more fireproof the fabric is said to be.
- Always wear FR fabric that fits well
Experts recommend that wearing of FR fabric which happens to be much loose, or is much tight can lead to several issues, such as increase in body temperature, etc. Make sure to choose the fabric that fits well, and is comfortable enough to allow to work without any issues.
- Regular inspection of FR fabric
The wearer should be able to identify any damage to the flameproof material in order to have the fabric treated or replaced to avoid any serious injury as a result of it.
- Regularly wash the FR fabric
It is recommended to regularly wash the flameproof fabric in order to make sure that no contaminants are acquired over the material’s surface. Flammable materials, such as oils, or grease, should be removed instantly as they compromise the effectivity of the fabric.
- Avoid using Hard Water when washing FR fabric
Experts strongly advise against washing flameproof fabric with hard water. Hard water can deposit minerals such as Calcium and Sodium to form a layer over the cotton FR fabric, thus making the material vulnerable to flaming.
- Avoid washing FR fabric with much hot water
It is usually recommended to wash FR fabric with water having temperature no greater than 60 degrees Celsius. Likewise, the area in which these flameproof fabric are left to dry should have temperature under 137 degrees Celsius.
- Wash FR fabric with detergent, not soap
Flame retardant fabric should always be washed with a help of some detergent, not soap. The primary reason is that the natural ingredients any soap contains can form a layer over the fabric after reacting with water, thus compromising the fireproof ability of the fabric.
- Avoid using fabric softener while washing FR fabric
Fabric softener, along with chlorine bleach, and detergents are some of the products used to wash clothes usually. However, these products happen to have a flammable nature, and must always be avoided while washing FR fabric.
- Use FR based accessories while repairing flameproof fabric
Always make sure to repair flameproof fabric with material of the same quality or properties. For instance, zips, hooks, knit cuffs, etc., which are later added to the fabric should also have fire retardant properties.
- Be aware of how long will the FR fabric last
The service time of different types of FR fabric is different. While some flameproof fabric can be used up to five years, others need to be replaced after a period of 9 to 18 months.
- Properly train the wearers of FR fabric in terms of using the material
As an employer, it is your duty to properly train your employees who shall be using the FR fabric, in terms of how they should be using the material in order to avoid any injury at the workplace. Every new wearer of the fabric must be given instructions regarding the appropriate use of the flameproof material.
- Be mindful of whom you buy FR fabric from
Make sure that you purchase FR fabric from an organization that knows the fabric, and its use well enough. Not everyone claiming to sell the best flameproof fabric would meet your requirements. Therefore, it is better to have a look at the organization’s profile.