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.
Flash fires are one of the most dangerous hazards in the workplace, and they can cause serious injuries or even fatalities if proper precautions are not taken. In this blog post, we will discuss the risks of improperly wearing protective clothing – specifically unzipped flame resistant (FR) coveralls – in the face of a potential flash fire hazard.
Wearing unzipped FR coveralls is a common mistake, especially when worn in warmer temperatures. In the video, Scott Margolin highlights the importance of properly wearing an FR coverall to avoid serious consequences. Leaving the coverall unzipped can expose a flammable base layer, which can easily ignite and cause severe burns, injuries, and even fatalities in the event of a flash fire hazard. Therefore, it is critical to always wear the coverall as intended, ensuring that all zippers and closures are properly fastened to provide maximum protection.
The first example shows an improperly zipped coverall and an exposed flammable, white, cotton base layer. As the propane release and flash fire occurred, the cotton t-shirt quickly ignited, and the fire rapidly spread around the torso to the back of the manikin. Even though the manikin was exposed to the flash fire for less than a second, the cotton t-shirt continued to burn, producing extremely high heat that would continue to burn a person's skin.
In the second example, Scott discusses the dangers of wearing an unzipped coverall with a meltable base layer made of Dri-Fit material. As the flame hit the manikin, the base layer quickly melted, leaving molten polymer all over the skin, which would cause severe burns and be extremely difficult to remove from the skin.
Proper protective clothing is essential to prevent serious injuries in a flash fire, but properly wearing it is equally important. Protective clothing must be worn as instructed by the manufacturer, which includes zipping or buttoning up, tucking in, and keeping sleeves rolled down.
In addition to wearing protective clothing properly, it is also essential to select the right type of clothing for the job. Flame resistant clothing (FRC) is specifically designed to protect against flash fires, and it is important to choose clothing that meets the appropriate safety standards for the job. Additionally, protective clothing should be regularly inspected and replaced if it becomes damaged or worn.
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.