Dangers of Improper Wear Flash Fire: Episode 3 – Flammable Outerwear + Cotton Base Layer

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 unpredictable and can leave little to no time for people to react. Hence, the right clothing is crucial to protect oneself from intense heat, flames, and potential injury. In this episode of Dangers of Improper Wear: Flash Fire, Scott Margolin, Tyndale's Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Technical, breaks down the dangers of wearing flammable outerwear and educates viewers on how to protect themselves by wearing their flame resistant clothing (FRC) the right way:

Scott introduces a manikin that has made two mistakes in how it’s dressed:

1)  It's wearing a flammable, meltable high-visibility vest, and,

2) It's wearing a base layer made of flammable cotton.

Due to its propensity to ignite quickly, burn hotter, and weigh more, cotton fabric is not protective. In fact, the fabric provides more ‘fuel’ to burn and is harder to extinguish. Furthermore, cotton is not in compliance with OSHA regulations or industry standards, including NFPA 2112 performance requirements.

As shown in the video, a controlled hydrocarbon release immediately ignites the manikin's clothing and fully engulfs it in flames, which continue to burn for a full minute after the flash fire occurred. The manikin's coverall legs are burned almost entirely off, and the manikin’s flammable vest helped ignite the cotton base layer, resulting in this disastrous outcome. The level of damage is so significant the manikin even falls apart as Scott attempts to show the results to the audience at the Texas A&M TEEX Fire Training Field. Although the video footage of the manikin is not an entirely accurate depiction of how a human body would be affected, this demonstration does show how quickly the flames can spread and how aggressive flash fires are, further driving home the importance of taking the necessary precautions to protect yourself.

Don’t take any risks when it comes to safety! If your line of work exposes you to a flash fire hazard, it is imperative that you invest in high-quality FRC that meets safety standards, wear it consistently, and wear it correctly. Stay tuned for future episodes exploring other common mistakes made when wearing FRC.


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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