Dangers of Improper Wear Flash Fire: Episode 1 – Wearing Flammable Clothing

Tyndale’s Dangers of Improper Wear: Flash Fire series uses flash fire video footage shot at Texas A&M TEEX Fire Training Field to illustrate the severe consequences of incorrectly wearing flame resistant clothing (FRC). Each episode features insightful commentary from Tyndale’s arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) clothing industry expert, Scott Margolin, Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Technical, who explains why it’s crucial to wear appropriate FRC and wear it properly.

Welcome to episode 1 of our Dangers of Improper Wear: Flash Fire blog and video series.

Let’s join our guide, Tyndale’s Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Technical, as he explains today’s improper wear topic: wearing flammable clothing – as opposed to flame resistant clothing (FRC) – when exposed to a potential flash fire hazard. We travel to the Texas A&M TEEX Fire Training Field to drive home the impact of this mistake using propane-induced flash fires for our demonstration. Watch the dramatic video footage and listen as Scott describes the severe consequences of wearing flammable clothing:

To illustrate the gravity of wearing flammable clothing when exposed to a flash fire, we first examine the dangers posed by wearing poly-cotton coveralls, which are both flammable and meltable.

The manikin, dressed in a poly-cotton flammable coverall, has been exposed to a hydrocarbon release causing a flash fire, as shown in our drone footage. Despite being at the edge of the flame for only a second and a half, the coverall has fully ignited. Helmet camera footage provides a close-up view of the fire's ferocity, making it too dangerous for someone even wearing full turnout gear to approach the manikin immediately. This demonstration clearly illustrates the catastrophic results of wearing flammable clothing and underscores the importance of wearing FRC when exposed to a flash fire.

It is imperative to avoid wearing clothing made of flammable materials in environments where flash fire hazards are present. As Scott reminds us, “Don’t wear fuel!” FRC is required to prevent the devasting consequences experienced by our manikin, and it must be worn properly. In future episodes, we discuss other overlooked protective clothing safety mistakes. Stay tuned!


Dangers of Improper Wear

Have you ever made the mistake of wearing flammable clothing on the job, or neglected to tuck in your flame-resistant shirt, or even worn a flammable sweatshirt over your protective clothing when exposed to potential flash fire or arc flash hazards? If so, you're not alone. Good news is it didn’t lead to a serious injury. Bad news is, next time you might not be so lucky. Regardless of the type of hazard, there are important lessons to be learned. We have identified common mistakes made in each situation. Watch and learn – it could save your life.

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