FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is FR?

 

FR is an abbreviation of “flame resistant.” The term refers to a material’s ability to self-extinguish one the source of ignition is removed.

 

What is FRC?

FRC is an abbreviation for “flame resistant clothing.” Here at FR Apparel Warehouse, we have the FRC you need to maintain compliance with safety standards.

 

What key points should I consider when choosing FR garments?
Your review of fabrics should consider thermal protection, static resistance, comfort, durability, stability, employee acceptance, and appearance, ease of laundry maintenance, color availability, and relative cost. You also need to be aware of any special circumstances, such as electric arc, molten substance, or chemical hazards. Verify with your employer or safety manager the Hazard Rating Category Level and ARC ratings needed for your particular job.

 

How does FR clothing help in case of an accident?

Flame resistant clothing has the ability to significantly reduce a burn injury. FRC gives the wearer of the garment time to escape the ignition source. If caught in a flash fire or electric arc, FR clothing can greatly increase the chance of survival.

 

Is flame resistant clothing expensive?

In many cases FR workwear is priced a little higher than standard work clothing, but it’s worth it for the safety benefits. Here at FR Apparel Warehouse, we strive to bring you high quality FR clothing at the most affordable prices. FR clothing can save lives—and that alone is worth any price.

 

Is FR clothing uncomfortable?

There are many different kinds of lightweight FR workwear here. By choosing the styles and levels that are ideal for your particular industry, you can achieve the maximum comfort level while on the job.

 

Do I really need FR workwear?

Everyone that works in any environment with ignition hazards should wear FR workwear. There’s no way around it. Even if you haven’t had an accident in years, there’s no reason to take that risk.

 

Can I wash my FR clothing at home?

If you follow the care instructions on the label, your FR clothing should hold up just fine and still maintain its safety properties. Newer FR fabrics are designed for “at-home” washing. Many companies are now realizing that managed clothing programs are much more expensive over the long-term, compared to the upfront cost involved with purchasing the FR workwear directly, and then having the employee’s handle the laundering.

 

What kind of workers need FR garments?

There are many industries that require employees to wear FR clothing. The most common use is for those in hazardous environments like oil field workers, petro-chemical haulers, electricians, refinery workers, electric utility workers, molten metal workers, and maintenance workers that come in contact with energized equipment.

 

Who is responsible for ensuring that FR clothing is worn?

The employer is responsible for making sure that FR clothing is worn on the job. OSHA has and will continue to issue citations and steep fines to companies that do not comply with NFPA 70E and NFPA 2112.

 

What is NFPA 70E?

NFPA 70E is a world standard that is published by the National Fire Protection Association. It recommends that those who work with, on, or around energized equipment wear FR clothing.

 

What is the difference between “inherent flame resistance” and “treatments”?

Inherently flame resistant fibers protect the wearer from ignition sources. Treatments are applied to non-FR fabrics to change their original level of flame resistance.

 

What is OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269?

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.269 covers the operation and maintenance of electric power generation, control, transformation, transmission and distribution lines and equipment. Part (l) (6) (iii) states: "The employer shall ensure that each employee who is exposed to the hazards of flames or electric arc does not wear clothing that, when exposed to flames or electric arcs, could increase the extent of the injury that would be sustained by the employee." This is the only federal law relating to FR clothing for electrical purposes. It is currently being rewritten and is expected to closely mirror the NFPA70E and NESC standards.

Who is responsible for ensuring that FR clothing is worn?

The employer is responsible for making sure that FR clothing is worn on the job. OSHA has and will continue to issue citations and steep fines to companies that do not comply with NFPA 70E and NFPA 2112.

What is an ATPV?

An Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) is a rating assigned to flame-resistant clothing indicating the level of protection provided. Higher-weight (e.g., thicker, denser) fabrics typically have higher ATPVs and provide increased protection (as does the layering of FR clothing). All properly tested FRC should have the ATPV marked on the inside label for easy reference.

Is an ATPV the same as calories per centimeter squared (cal/cm²)?

Yes. An ATPV is measured in calories per centimeter squared (cal/cm²), and the two terms are used interchangeably in regards to arc ratings.

What is an HRC?

HRC or Hazard Risk Category is a rating for FR clothing that indicates the level of protection the garment provides. There are five HRCs ranging from 0 to 4, with an HRC of 0 representing the least protection, and an HRC of 4 representing the most protection. The NFPA 70E consensus standard assigns these categories based on the electrical maintenance task to be performed, and each HRC correlates to a specific range of ATPVs. For example, HRC 1 would include ATPVs greater than 5 cal/cm² but less than 8 cal/cm².