Flame Resistant (FR) clothing is an essential safety requirement for anyone working in environments where fire hazards exist, but they are also considerably more expensive than regular clothing, which means you don’t want to throw a relatively new pair of overalls in the trash simply because it has a small rip or tear.
Fortunately, simple repairs of FR garments are possible so long as certain guidelines are adhered to.
It is important to regularly assess the condition of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure it will still protect you in the event of an accident. With FR clothing, that means inspecting the garment for worn out or threadbare areas, abrasions, rips, and tears. These kinds of issues can be dealt with by sewing on patches made with the same type of material or darning small holes with FR rated thread.
Repair with Safety in Mind
It is extremely important that patches are made of the same kind of Flame Resistant material as the original item of clothing. Workrite offers over ten different kinds of FR fabrics, each with different wear life, thickness, and protective properties. Some protect better than others against specific kinds of hazards, while some are not as suitable for certain work environments.
FR rated thread is also a must when repairing Flame Resistant clothing. Non-FR thread can burn quickly and cause repair patches to fall off, or repaired seams to open, leaving exposed areas that could result in injury. And when replacing zippers, buttons, or any other components on clothing, make sure to use FR rated components and FR rated thread. Construction components used for the clothing that are not Flame Resistant may ignite, burn, and melt, potentially causing serious injury.
When to Replace
At a certain point, even well maintained safety clothing will need replacing. If your garment’s fabric has become so worn and threadbare that it tears easily or has rips too large to be patched, it should be disposed of. Also keep comfort and appearance in mind. If safety equipment looks ugly or fits poorly, workers may be tempted to forgo safety measures to avoid wearing it.
Don’t cut corners!
Repairing FR clothing properly is key to ensuring the effectiveness of the safety clothing is not compromised. If you’re unsure about fixing the garment yourself, return it to the manufacturer or use an authorized FR repair facility.
Workrite Uniform can provide the appropriate materials for repair upon request. Call us today to learn more, or take a look at our extensive collection of Flame Resistant clothing on our website or through our new app.