Each year, thousands of people are injured from electrical arc flashes and other electricity related incidents, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation. To commemorate Electrical Safety Month, an event designed to bring awareness to electrical safety issues in the home, workplace, schools and communities, Cintas, the nation’s largest provider of rental apparel programs, identified the top three misconceptions about flame resistant clothing (FRC), sometimes being referred to as “arc-rated” garments.
“Too often, we find that people who should be wearing flame resistant clothing or arc-rated garments do not because they think it’s too hot or cumbersome,” said Jay Skie, Director of Protective Apparel, Cintas Corporation. “This puts them—and their workplace—at serious risk. Advancements in garment technology have not only improved the wearability of the garments, but also their safety—if the garments are properly maintained.”
Three top flame resistant clothing misconceptions include:
First: “Flame resistant clothes are hot and bulky.” Although companies want to protect their employees, they don’t want it to lead to additional problems, such as heat stress. While older FRC used to be heavy and hot for the wearer, advancements in apparel technology have enabled flame-resistant garments to be light, thin and breathable. Designed with comfort in mind, many flame-resistant garments wick away moisture and feel like standard fabrics. A reputable FRC provider will measure each worker to ensure a good fit and keep you up-to-date on the latest fabric innovations for comfort and protection.
Second: “Flame-resistant fabrics always maintain their integrity.” Improper laundering will compromise the integrity of a flame-resistant garment. For example, the use of retail fabric softeners must never be used when laundering FRC. Softened water is also a key ingredient for effective laundering of FRC. Other factors that can be difficult to control in home laundering environments, such as water temperature, play a role in whether garments are properly laundered.
To help avoid garments being improperly laundered, many companies turn to a uniform rental program for the capabilities offered by industrial laundering. Featuring the proper water temperatures, water softness and detergents, industrial laundering allows organizations to increase employee safety and compliance due to much greater likelihood of garment flame-resistant integrity.