The Dangers of Improper Wear: Episode 10 – Non-FR Hoodie Over AR/FR Clothing

Our Dangers of Improper Wear series examines many of the common mistakes people make when wearing arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing, with real-world arc flash video footage that shows just how substantial each mistake can be. In each episode, you’ll find powerful examples of why wearing the right PPE, and wearing it properly, makes all the difference – with expert commentary from Scott Margolin, Vice President of Technical.

If you’ve ever been tempted to reach for a non-FR hoodie to wear over your AR / FR to the jobsite on a chilly morning, you’re not alone: unfortunately, this mistake is common – especially in fall and spring, when it tends to be chilly in the morning and warms up as the day goes on. The problem? Forgetting to remove this flammable outer layer can have devastating consequences.

We put this common mistake to the test in a real-world arc flash demonstration – see why it’s not one you want to make, with expert commentary from Scott Margolin, Vice President of Technical:

So what happens in an arc flash if you’re wearing a flammable hoodie over your AR / FR clothing?

  • As the arc fades, you can see flaming pieces of the sweatshirt being ejected from the manikin
  • The sweatshirt is instantly on fire
  • In addition to the whole front of the garment, there is also fire affecting the neck, head, and face – which would also impact the respiratory system, with very serious effects
  • By the time the firefighter retrieves the manikin, there’s nothing left to the front of the garment, and the fire has spread to the sleeves and back
  • The fire continues to burn, thanks to the amount of fuel supplied by the non-FR outer layer

It’s not hard to imagine the catastrophic outcome of that incident.

That’s why it’s vitally important to avoid this mistake – please, do not leave the house with a non-FR hoodie over your AR / FR clothing. It’s far too easy to forget to remove this flammable layer before entering a hazardous environment.

This is especially true as quality, comfortable AR / FR sweatshirts and outerwear are available today for every style and budget. Find an item that’s right for you, and order today to make sure you have everything you need to stay safe in any conditions Mother Nature throws your way. Don’t have a company account? Shop online at

Check back next week as we test out the impacts of wearing an AR / FR shirt soiled with a flammable contaminant in Episode 11.


Series: The Dangers of Improper Wear

Have you ever made any of these PPE mistakes? Follow along with our Dangers of Improper Wear series as we share powerful videos, each focusing on a common mistake made when wearing AR / FR clothing. Watch and learn – it could save your life.

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