Consequences of Arc Flash Exposure: Testing FR vs. Non-FR

Over the years, Tyndale has released numerous videos demonstrating the dangers of arc flash exposure. In these videos, we emphasize the importance of wearing proper protection in the workplace to mitigate arc flash hazards by demonstrating the common mistakes made when wearing arc-rated and flame resistant (AR / FR) apparel.

What would happen if a supervisor dressed in flammable non-FR clothing, accompanied an electrician wearing AR / FR gear during a potential arc flash hazard? Would the supervisor’s cotton clothing safeguard them in the face of an oncoming arc flash? Watch the video below to find out:


As seen in the video, the manikin representing the electrician is dressed in CAT 2 AR / FR clothing. The manikin representing the supervisor is wearing 100% cotton clothing; this manikin stands beside our simulated electrician, positioned several feet away from the impending arc flash hazard.

The arc flash does impact the supervisor manikin dressed in non-FR, but only slightly before retreating. In real-time, the arc flash ignites instantly, striking the supervisor manikin, while the electrician manikin is safeguarded thanks to the appropriate protective gear. The manikin depicting the supervisor continues to burn and even blisters, illustrating the grim consequences of not wearing proper protective clothing.

The bottom line is simple – if you find yourself anywhere near a potential arc flash hazard, ensure that you are equipped with the appropriate PPE needed to ensure your safety on the job site.

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