The Importance of Professionally Maintained Flame-Resistant Uniforms
Are your flame-resistant uniforms getting the care that they deserve? The quality of maintenance protective garments receive can increase or decrease their useful lifespan. Here’s why professional flame-resistant uniform management is essential:
Flame-Resistant Uniforms 101
Before we get into maintenance, here’s a quick primer on the importance and variety of flame-resistant uniforms:
Choosing the Right Type
There are many types of garments marketed for flame protection. The most popular of which are flame-resistant and flame-retardant uniforms. While both qualify in the same Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) category, they differ in composition. Flame-resistant clothing is made of special fabrics that possess inherently flame-resisting qualities. While they do catch fire, it catches fire very slowly and eventually should self-extinguish. Flame-retardant, on the other hand, is clothing made of regular fabrics that are chemically treated with a flame-resisting substance. It functions in essentially the same way but differs in pricing in that, flame-retardant clothing is generally cheaper.
The more important element in choosing PPE is ensuring that they meet the appropriate safety standards. The NFPA’s standards for flame-resistant garments are the industry-accepted consensus and guiding principles on both the acceptability of its flame-resistant capacities and its suitability for use. Understanding these distinctions is essential in procuring the right garment for your employees’ specific protection needs.
Fit and Wearer Comfort
Aside from having the right type of flame resistance, proper fit is also essential in ensuring your employees’ safety. For one, the flame-resistant garment should provide sufficient coverage, leaving no body parts exposed. The garment should fit comfortably, be lightweight, and be breathable. This ensures that the wearer can move freely and protect themselves with ease in the event of an accident.
Considerations for Professionally Maintained Flame-Resistant Uniforms
Washing and maintaining flame-resistant garments is a balancing act, in which, ultimately, wearer safety and protection is what’s at stake. The main considerations in flame-resistant uniform care are:
- Cleanliness. Just like any other work garment, flame-resistant uniforms get exposed to dirt and dust among other things. Keeping them clean is one of, if not the most important goal of flame-resistant uniform laundering.
- Retention of Protective Qualities. The method and substances used in garment care affect the material and/or flame-resistant treatment of the uniforms. Laundering that is too harsh or using incompatible laundry detergents can threaten the effectiveness of flame-resistant garments. And in turn, this can render them less effective in protecting their wearers.
- Overall Garment Life Expectancy. Depending on the material, flame-resistant garments can last between 1 and 4 years. Appropriate care ensures that your uniforms can provide complete fire resistance throughout their natural life span. Proper laundering also prevents damage to the garment material that can compromise its integrity.
SITEX: Safe, Secure, Superior Maintenance for Protective Clothing
SITEX has the tools and the expertise necessary to meet the laundry requirements for your flame-resistant garments. Our extensive industry experience ensures that your flame-resistant clothing is as clean as possible and that it remains that way. In SITEX’s care, you can expect your uniforms to stay protective for the entirety of their useful lifespan.
Boost your employees’ protection with professionally maintained flame-resistant uniforms from SITEX today! Call us at 800.278.3537 or contact us here for a free quote!