Choosing the Right FR Jacket

Not sure what to look for in FR jackets? When your jacket needs to pull double duty -- offering warmth, waterproofing, or breathability along with reliable flame-resistance that suits your working environment -- it’s worth doing your homework. With several different FR outerwear types and protection levels, you need to determine what the most suitable choice for you and your line of work will be.

Whether you’re looking for a women’s flame-resistant jacket or a fully insulated coverall with the highest level of protection, we’ll help guide you through your options and make the best choice for your line of work.

Why Do You Need FR Outerwear?

Flame-resistant clothing is made of specially-engineered fabric that has been tested and shown to withstand extreme heat, and direct flames, and self-extinguish after the ignition source is removed. For many lines of work, FR outerwear -- like a women’s or men’s flame-resistant jacket, waterproof parka, insulated coveralls, etc. -- is an essential layer of protection in cold or wet working environments and workplaces where layers are needed for optimal FR protection.

You need flame-resistant outerwear to meet workplace safety standards, comply with safety regulations, and keep yourself warm, dry, and comfortable on the job.

3 Factors for Choosing Your FR Jacket

Your FR outerwear should suit the needed level of protection for your workplace and job, your working environment, and adhere to any workplace policies regarding flame-resistant clothing. These are the factors you’ll use to determine which type of FR jacket you need.

1. Level of Protection

What’s the general level of flash fire or arc flash risk you deal with on the job? Your company should have performed an “incident energy analysis” to determine what level of protection your PPE should provide. So are there different levels of FR clothing? You bet. FR work clothes can offer different levels of protection, measured by their PPE category (CAT). CAT 1 provides a minimum Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV) of 4 calories per square centimeter, CAT 2 provides at least 8 cal/cm2, CAT 3 offers at least 25 cal/cm2, and CAT 4 offers a minimum of 40 cal/cm2.

So what is the difference between CAT 2 and CAT 3 FR clothing? CAT 2 clothing can withstand between 8–25 calories of energy during an arc flash before it begins to melt or burn, while CAT 3 clothing can withstand between 25–40 calories of energy. Look for quality FR apparel from a company like MWG to ensure it’s been third-party tested and meets the highest flame/heat resistance and vertical flammability standards.

2. Work Environment

Are you regularly subjected to cold or warm temperatures, dark or wet conditions, or sharp objects/repetitive movements that make rips and tears more likely? These factors will help you choose the right MWG Apparel FR jacket for your work environment.

  • MWG BLOCKER™: Warm fleece CAT 3 options (full-zip and pullover hoodies) best for cold or windy working environments
  • COTTON COMFORT™: Lightweight, breathable CAT 2-3 options (pullover hoodies, overalls, lightweight jackets) with hi-vis colors; best for warm conditions where layers are needed
  • MWG STORMSHIELD™: 100% waterproof CAT 2-4 options (flame-resistant rain jacket, parkas, bomber shells, vests, overalls, etc.) best for wet conditions
  • MWG RIPGUARD™: CAT 2–3 options with ripstop fabric (coveralls, overalls, lightweight jackets) best for jobs in contact with sharp objects or with repetitive movements that lead to safety-compromising rips in FR workwear
3. Workplace Policies

Another question to ask yourself: What is the fire retardant clothing policy at your workplace? While the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) and Canada Standards Association (CSA Group) determine nationwide standards for flame-resistant apparel, your workplace may have additional policies in place that cover who provides the FR workwear (you or them), which PPE category is required for each job, and more. Get familiar with these policies before making your final flame-resistant outerwear choice.

Find the Right FR Jacket for Your Job

You may need a men’s flame-resistant jacket, a women’s flame-resistant jacket, a flame-resistant rain jacket, or a durable but lightweight FR ripstop jacket to do your job in safety and comfort. We offer all types of FR outerwear and jackets that meet or exceed existing standards for any kind of working environment.

It can be challenging to navigate the fire-resistant clothing market, but we simplify the process. MWG Apparel provides top-quality FR clothing, including jackets, vests, and pants – we offer a comprehensive range to cater to all your needs and are dedicated to assisting you in finding the perfect fit.
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