Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for safety when it comes to FR clothing. Engineering advances over the years have made FR clothing lighter, softer, and more comfortable. First and foremost, comfort is subjective. There is no better way to determine how comfortable FR clothing will be than to actually try it on.
Some manufacturers, Workrite included, will offer wear trials to give you/your team the opportunity to select several different fabric types and wear the sample garments on the job. Wear trials are a great way to find the FR uniform that will be the most comfortable for you and/or your employees.
In addition to physically trying the clothing on, here are some other things to consider when trying to select comfortable FR clothing:
There are many different kinds of FR fabrics and treatments. The kind of flame resistant material you select can play a role in the comfort of your FR clothing. For example, inherently flame-resistant fabrics have a different feel than flame-resistant treated fabrics and, depending on your comfort needs, one fabric may prove more comfortable than the other. When it comes to selecting FR fabric, first identify the best fabric/treatment solution that’s best for your work conditions and then optimize for comfort.
As with all clothing, fit plays a major role in comfort. FR clothing provides more thermal protection when it fits loosely on the body. Thus, the most effective and comfortable FR clothing will be designed to have a roomier fit.
While FR clothing has been engineered to be lighter and more comfortable than in the past, remember that the primary function of FR clothing is safety. Some FR clothing may be heavier than what you would typically expect from everyday street clothing. While comfort is still achievable, be sure to evaluate your comfort in the context of your everyday work uniform.
As the weather changes, so should your FR clothing. Thicker FR knits and jackets can help with comfort during the winter and lighter FR fabrics are more comfortable for the hot summer.
While there are many things to factor into comfort, there are also many FR clothing options to choose from. Find the best FR clothing for your needs and take advantage of a wear trial to ensure that you select the most effective and comfortable FR clothing for your team.