Flame Resistant (FR)

Definition - What does Flame Resistant (FR) mean?

Flame-resistant (FR) materials, also called fire-resistant materials, are clothing and other textile materials that resist catching fire.

FR material is worn as personal protective equipment (PPE). It does not melt onto skin, provides insulation from heat, resists breaking open to expose skin, and either self extinguishes or resists ignition.

Safeopedia explains Flame Resistant (FR)

There are two primary types of FR equipment: inherent and treated. Inherent FR products are those manufactured with material that is naturally resistant to ignition up to a certain threshold. Treated FR products are those manufactured with a material that may not be naturally resistant to ignition but that has been treated with an additional flame-retardant substance to make them so. Wearing flame resistant material both provides workers with direct protection from heat sources and prevents their clothing from igniting and causing them further harm.

The primary use of FR clothing is for protection against flash fires, arc flashes, and other high-temperature/short-exposure incidents. In the United States, the correct use of flame-resistant clothing is described by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70E consensus standard and mandated by OSHA standards 29 CFR 1910.269 and 1926 Subpart V. OSHA refers to the NFPA standards for guidance on the implementation of its flame-resistance standards. Many other developed-world jurisdictions maintain similar standards and implementation requirements as those in the U.S.

Under OSHA rules, employers must provide workers with FR clothing when the estimated heat energy generated by a safety incident could rise above two calories per centimeter squared (2 cal/cm2). The use of FR clothing has been demonstrated to have a significant effect on worker health and safety. When OSHA released a 2015 update to its standards for the use of FR PPE, it estimated that the changes would prevent 20 workplace fatalities and 118 workplace injuries per year.

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