Show Menu

Flame Resistant Clothing Glossary Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Flame Resistant Clothing Glossary

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


Unders­tanding the ins and outs of FR clothing can go a long way toward protecting oil and gas workers from burn injuries and fatalities


Arc Rating: Value describing a fabric’s perfor­mance in electrical arc discharge tests that determine how much energy can pass through the fabric before there is a 50 percent probab­ility of second­-degree burns.
Base Layer: Clothing worn underneath primary FR clothing should also be flame-­res­istant for added safety.
Char Length: A measur­ement used to assess FR clothing perfor­mance based on the amount of damaged fabric when a Vertical Flame Test (ASTM D6413) is performed.
Denim: Contrary to common miscon­cep­tions, regular denim does not offer sufficient protection against hazards such as arc flash and flash fire, comfor­table FR options are now available in a variety of popular styles.
Energy Break: Open Threshold (EBT)–The amount of incident energy required for a fabric to break open; one of two ways to express arc rating (the other way is ATPV).
Flame Resistant (FR): A fabric or product that resists ignition and self-e­xti­ngu­ishes after removal of the ignition source.
General Duty Clause: OSHA section 5(a)(1), a clause under the Occupa­tional Health and Safety Act that requires employers to furnish each employee with a place of employment free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.
Heat Stress: Choosing FR clothing made from lightw­eight, breathable fabrics can help reduce heat stress.
Inherent Flame Resist­ance: Describes FR fabrics that are flame resistant due to the chemical structure of the fibers.
Jackets: All jackets and other outerwear worn over an FR uniform should also be flame resistant.
Knits: FR knit fabrics are known to offer an except­ional level of comfort.
Lightw­eight: Lightw­eight fabrics, especially those that also offer good breath­abi­lity, are often more comfor­table than other options — but before choosing a garment made from lightw­eight fabric, it is important to ensure that it still offers the necessary levels of FR protection and durabi­lity.
Multi-­Hazard Protec­tion: FR products that offer improved safety and conven­ience by simult­ane­ously protecting against more than one hazard (e.g., combined protection against flash fire, arc flash and molten metal splatter; FR protection mixed with high visibi­lity; or FR protection combined with chemic­al-­splash protec­tion).
National Fire Protection Associ­ation (NFPA): Publishes standards related to protection against various hazards, such as NFPA 2112 for flash fire and NFPA 70E for electric arc flash.
Occupa­tional Health and Safety Admini­str­ation (OSHA) Sets and enforces safety regula­tions, including several related to FR clothing, in an effort to ensure a safe and healthy work enviro­nment for all employees.
PPE Category: Under NFPA 70E, personal protective equipment (PPE) like FR clothing is assigned to one of four categories based on the level of electric arc flash energy exposure it protects against.
Quality Management System: A quality assurance program that monitors product quality through well-d­ocu­mented inspection and testing proced­ures, and includes criteria for accept­ance, rejection, handling of noncon­forming materials and material recalls throughout the manufa­cturing process (e.g., an ISO 9001 certified quality management system).
Repair: When repairing FR clothing, always use FR thread, FR components (e.g., buttons and zippers) and repair patches made from the same FR fabric as the original garmen­t—and if the garment is excess­ively worn or has rips to large to be patched, replace it instead.
Safety Standards: Organi­zations such as OSHA, NFPA, ASTM Intern­ational and others publish regula­tions and standards that outline best practices related to FR clothing; adhering to these best practices helps promote safety and prevent costly fines.
Thermal Protective Perfor­mance (TPP): A fabric’s TPP is determined by the amount of heat it takes to pass through the fabric and cause a second­-degree burn.
UL Certified: UL is a third-­party organi­zation that offers certif­ication for FR garments that meet or exceed key standards, such as NFPA 2112.
Vertical Flame Test: Also known as ASTM D6413, this is a standard test method for measuring the flame resistance of textiles based on after-­flame time, after-glow time and char length.
Wear Trials: Every workplace has different needs, and percep­tions of FR clothing comfort and functi­onality can vary from person to person, so it is often a good idea to do a wear trial before purchasing FR workwear.
XS, XL, 2XL, 3XL, etc.: –FR clothing must fit properly to provide the best protec­tion, so be sure to order the right size garment for each worker and, if necessary, work with a manufa­cturer to get custom garments made in non-stock sizes.
Yoke: In FR clothing (and non-FR clothing), a yoke is a shaped section of fabric that forms part of a garment (often around the neck and shoulders or the hips) and provides support and structure for the rest of the garment, influe­ncing fit and appear­ance.
Zippers: Zippers, as well as buttons, snaps and other compon­ents, should always be made from FR or high-t­emp­erature resistant materials, and FR garments should be constr­ucted in a way that keeps any metal components from coming into contact with the skin.