How to Care for Fire Retardant Clothing

Dickies Workwear aim to keep the modern worker comfortable and safe while feeling protected and looking good!  Our range of flame retardant workwear is researched, designed and engineered by industry innovators and conforms to international safety standards.

flames on black brackground

Flame retardant clothing (or FR Clothing as it is commonly called) is utilised mainly by workers in the oil and gas industry, as well as those in welding and foundry environments. However, we are finding that fire retardant coveralls are also becoming more popular for leisure activities, such as motor racing.

While our garments are manufactured to the highest standards, flame retardant clothing and work safety gloves requires special care in order to maintain its quality.

Dickies fireproof overall next to fire

FR Clothing Guidelines

  • Firstly, do remember to check the label on the garment and launder according to the instructions. Many flame retardant garments are not suitable for industrial laundry.
  • Cotton, aramid and modacrylic garments can be laundered using the recommended temperatures and wash cycles. Some 3% minimal shrinkage can be expected and is a natural reaction from both the fibres and the weave construction, most noticeable during the first 3 to 5 washes.
  • Please take this expected shrinkage into account when purchasing your garment.
  • Be careful not to over dry garments. Exposure to excessive drying temperatures will result in higher than normal shrinkage.
  • Water which is too hard affects the cleaning process and may contain mineral salts which build up on the fabric. These types of deposits, in extreme cases of build-up, can actually exacerbate the flammability of the clothing and act as an accelerant if exposed to an ignition source.
  • Starches, fabric softeners, and other laundry additives should be avoided.
  • Do not use chlorine bleach or other detergents or chemicals containing hydrogen peroxide! These chemicals may coat the fibre used to treat the fabric and inhibit its flame retardant properties. Some of these chemicals can also act as a fuel.

welder in dickies fireproof overalls

Flame Retardant Workwear Treatments

Proban:

A flame retardant solution designed to treat cotton or cotton rich fabrics. The polymer in the Proban treatment is embedded within the individual fibres of the garment and is insoluble. It cannot be removed by washing - only by mechanical abrasion or incorrect laundering.

Proban fabrics meet the minimum standards required of 50 washes at 75°C. However, numerous independent tests have shown that Proban treated garments still pass this flammability test well after 100 to 150 washes.

Pyrovatex:

One of the most widely used flame retardant treatments for 100% cotton fabrics. Cotton fibres are treated with a crosslink resin which ultimately creates a very strong, durable and protective link that makes the fabric resistant to shrinking or melting when exposed to heat and flame.

Dickies Pyrovatex garments are made from high-quality cotton, so they retain their lightweight properties and remain comfortable to wear.

Modacrylic:

Modacrylic fibres are synthetic and blended with cotton for a natural feel and maximum comfort. These fibres are known for their flame retardant properties, as well as their resistance to chemicals and solvents. Furthermore, their flame retardant properties do not deteriorate after repeated washing or normal use over time.

Aramids:

Aramid fibres are synthetic, heat resistant fibres. The high level of protection they provide does not come from chemical treatment, but is engineered into the molecular structure of the fibre itself. As a result, the heat and fire retardant qualities of the garment are permanent and will not fade over time.

Fire Retardant Work Clothing

Dickies Fire Retardant Collection

Left to Right

  1. Dickies Long Sleeve Polo Shirt
  2. Dickies Proban Coverall
  3. Dickies Lightweight Pyrovatex Coverall
  4. Dickies Pyrovatex Antistatic Coverall

Many of these garments and flame retardant overalls can be made to order in different colours, overalls can be customised with your company’s logo. We utilise flame retardant thread when embroidering on these clothing items, so that they maintain their fire-resistant qualities. Garments with a logo on them should, therefore, be treated the same way as an ordinary item of flame retardant clothing. For a free quotation, find out more about custom embroidered workwear today.


EN 1149-5 Safety Standard

What is the EN1149-5 Safety Standard?EN1149-5 logo

EN 1149-5:2018 is a protective clothing standard which outlines the requirements for electrostatic properties of protective clothing. Electrostatic dissipative protective clothing should be worn as part of a total earthed system to reduce the risk of sparking and avoid combustible discharges.

Why is the EN1149-5 Safety Standard Important?

Many industries such as electronics, transport, communications, O&G extraction, telecommunications and defence applications require garments that meet EN 1149-5, as end users are potentially working in explosion hazard environments where the ATEX guidelines are enforced. Clothing that forms a total earthed system (including footwear) can prevent sparks. A spark could result in an explosion. An explosion risk is also a fire risk. EN 1149-5 is important in these environments as it will suppress static charge and the total earthed system is important and footwear that does not conduct electricity must also be worn.

How do Dickies Workwear provide a total solution?

Dickies Workwear offer EN 1149-5 certified garments, which also comply with the requirements of the ATEX directive. Our FR24/7 range of coveralls offer protection again heat, flames, welding & allied processes as well as having electrostatic properties. The wear must be earthed, and Dickies offer a vast range of earthed safety footwear to provide a total earthed system. Footwear like the Medway, Storm and Antrim are a few examples of our anti-static footwear collection and we offer 3 styles of safety footwear items that are ESD compliant.