Choosing FR Clothing for Your Facility

Working in facilities where employees are exposed to fire hazards, chemicals, gasses, or heat requires fire-resistant work clothing for safety and compliance. Choosing FR clothing for your facility is a cornerstone of creating an environment that prioritizes workplace fire safety. With several types of FR clothing available for different environments and facilities, rigorous safety standards and regulations to follow, and employee safety and comfort at stake, making the right FR clothing choices is essential.

Basic Types of FR Workwear

Fire-resistant work clothing comes in several varieties and styles, but certain types are needed for specific facilities and duties.

  • Electric Arc Flash Protection: Arc flash hazards in electrical generation and transmission environments require arc-rated FR workwear (labeled with ATPV, or Arc Thermal Performance Value, in calories/ that protects workers from these dangerous events with enhanced flame-resistant performance and arc flash protection.
  • Flash Fire Protection: Flash fire risk necessitates FR workwear that won’t continually burn, melt, or drip when exposed to fuel-limited engulfment fire (forest, hydrocarbon, etc.). Firefighters, oil & gas workers, and miners need flash fire-rated FR workwear.
  • High Visibility Protection: Moving vehicles and equipment, dim or dark environments, steam, fog, dust, and smoke in facilities with fire or arc flash risks require fluorescent, brightly-colored high visibility workwear. Miners and construction workers need hi-vis FR workwear.
Choosing the Right FR Clothing for Your Facility

Your facility’s specific hazards and risks dictate the type of fire-resistant work clothing your employees need for safety and compliance. FR clothing has a PPE category (CAT) rating of 1-4, with level 1 offering an ATPV minimum rating of 4 cal/ and level 4 offering the highest ATPV (40 cal/

The higher the hazard risk in your facility, the higher ATPV and CAT rating worker clothing should be while meeting any required industry standards and regulations. Here are a few industry examples:

  • Electric: Choose arc-rated FR garments that meet ASTM F1506 and CSA Z462 or NFPA 70E standards from PPE categories (CAT) 1-4. Most electrical workers need CAT 2+ clothing.
  • Mining: Choose arc-rated FR garments (CAT 2+) that meet CSA Z462 safety standards and CSA Z96 visibility standards. Choose from 3 hi-vis classes (levels 1-3) for good to superior visibility and 3 retroreflection levels (levels 1, 2, and FR) for moderate to high performance.
  • Oil & Gas: Choose flash fire-rated FR garments that meet CGSB 155.20 or NFPA 2112 standards for flash fire, with most workers needing CAT 2+ due to the risk of hydrocarbon flash fires.

The easiest way to outfit your workers appropriately for workplace fire safety is through full-service FR clothing programs for employers. At MWG Apparel, we develop, design, and distribute premium flame-resistant and hi-vis workwear that meets and exceeds Canadian General Standards Board standards across industries. We customize and tailor FR apparel to your brand and work environment, making sure your workers are always in compliance with our deep understanding of national regulatory bodies.

Maintaining FR Workwear

Sourcing quality FR apparel is essential, but so is understanding its lifespan and maintenance. Proper clothing inspection and care are key to creating a safe work environment.

You might wonder, “Does FR clothing expire?” While FR clothing doesn’t “expire” like milk or eggs, it does have a lifespan that’s limited by the number of washes the garment goes through and wear and tear from usage (which can decrease the lifespan and render the garment less effective). Reminding workers to closely inspect their FR workwear regularly is essential to check for signs that it’s near “expiration” or time to replace it, like:

  • Material discoloration or degradation
  • Tears, cracks, holes, or visible damage
  • Contamination with flammable materials
  • Missing or broken components

So, how many times can FR clothing be washed in its lifespan if there’s no sign of damage? Our high-quality FR work clothing is superiorly constructed to have a reliable 25-wash lifespan, enabling it to be worn with full protection for a longer period of time than lower-quality brands. Tears, degradation, and broken components are less likely with a premium brand like MWG Apparel.

Ready to find premium quality FR clothing for your facility? Browse our collection and find the perfect FR clothing solutions for your industry.
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