What is Fire Retardant Workwear?

Jun 29, 2022

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Fire retardant (FR) clothing is designed to resist ignition and protect the wearer from any open flame, hot object or metal splashes. In addition, fire retardant clothing is worn by individuals working in environments around flames, heat, fire and electricity. This includes first responders, firemen, welders and rescue workers. Additionally, the fire retardant workwear clothing provides protection to people who work in an environment where they may risk exposure to combustible chemicals, sparks or dust.

Fire retardant workwear clothing can help to save your life. When used or worn correctly, you will drastically reduce the risk of injury including severe burns. Continue reading this blog to learn how fire retardant clothing works to protect you during an emergency situation.

What Is Safety Clothing?

Safety clothing, often known as PPE, is designed to protect the wearer from injury.  It’s usually worn during work or recreational activities that carry a risk of injury. Examples include gloves, hard hats, safety glasses and protective clothing. Safety clothing is designed to be lightweight, comfortable and breathable so it doesn’t interfere with your ability to complete tasks. A range of materials are used in the manufacture of safety clothing including natural fibres such as cotton and wool. Synthetic fabrics such as polyester have also been developed for specific applications such as rainwear.

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What Is Fire Retardant Workwear?

Fire retardant workwear clothing is a type of garment that is often made from natural fire-retardant materials such as wool or cotton. Another method is to treat garments with fire-resistant chemicals or additives that resist burning.

This helps to protect the wearer from burns and is designed to protect from flash fires. As a result, this can occur when combustible materials are exposed to heat or flame. If a flash fire occurs, it will spread quickly and cause injuries to those nearby.

Fire retardant garments are essential in many industries and are often supplied through your health and safety compliance officer. Regardless of which industry you operate within, you need to ensure the safety of your employees, and where possible, protect them from potential hazards. If a company’s fire risk assessment determines that there is a real possibility of exposure to flames or high temperatures, then fire retardant garments are essential.

Important to note. Natural materials are inherently fire retardant meaning that laundering these garments won’t reduce their ability to resist fire. Unlike flame-resistant chemicals. 

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What Materials Are In Fire Retardant Clothing

Fire retardant clothing is made of a variety of materials. Cotton, wool and synthetic fibres are the most common types of fire-retardant clothing. Polyester, wool, nylon and silk apparel is naturally fire resistant which is also known as inherently fire retardant. In addition, these materials can be treated with a chemical coating to become even more flame resistant. Synthetic fibres like polyester or nylon do not have the same inherent fire resistance as cotton or wool so they need special treatments to make them more resistant to fire.

Fire Retardant Workwear Standards

Fire retardant workwear is any clothing designed to protect you from fire and heat. This can include industrial uniforms, protective clothing, firefighting gear and more. The standard for this type of apparel varies depending on what industry it’s used for. However, there are some general standards that apply across all industries.

EN11612 – Protective Clothing Against Flame/Heat

The European Standard for clothing used in the protection against heat and flames (EN ISO 11612) was created to protect people from hazards under those conditions. Our fire retardant range is designed to protect workers from the effects of extreme heat in environments which are more prone to flames.

EN11611 EN470 – Welding Protection Clothing

Welding clothing is designed to protect workers who are exposed directly to the flame or heat of a welding torch. The new standard replaces EN 470, which did not address modern materials and technologies. Welding clothes and EN ISO 11611-compliant workwear should cover your face, hands, ears and head while also protecting other parts of your body that may be at risk of being injured.

EN ISO 11611-compliant workwear should consist of coveralls or trousers and jackets and be worn in conjunction with appropriate gloves and specialist welding masks.

EN14116 EN533 – Flame Protection Clothing

BS EN ISO 14116 replaces the withdrawn EN533. While the standard does address flame resistance, it arguably applies better to outerwear worn over other protective garments than to single-layer items such as uniforms.

The materials used to make clothing manufactured to this standard have been treated so that if the garment comes into contact with a flame, it will burn for only a limited amount of time, after which point the flames will be extinguished.

This category is not intended to protect against convective heat, radiant heat or molten metal.

What are the Benefits to Fire Retardant Clothing?

Fire retardant clothing is designed to protect you from fires and may also help save your life in a fire situation. For example, if you are caught on fire, wearing flame-resistant clothes can help keep your body cool and prevent extensive damage to the skin.

High-risk industries will often use fire-retardant clothing. Where there are higher levels of potential danger from flash fires and burns. Also these garments provide protection against thermal injury (burns), smoke inhalation and other risks associated with these types of fires. High risk includes firefighters and manufacturing employees.

The purpose of these special fabrics is to give the wearer extra protection in case they find themselves in a dangerous situation where they might have to fight off flames or go through an area with significant levels of smoke and heat.

The benefits of wearing fire-retardant clothing include:

  • Protection against open flames
  • Protection against receiving severe burns
  • Protection against fire
  • Protection against metal splashes

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Fire Retardant, Necessary for Certain Industries

What is fire retardant clothing? Firstly, a necessity for those working in industries where there is a risk of fire. Secondly, the act of wearing fire-retardant clothing can help protect you from being injured, killed or burned by a fire.

This includes people who work with flammable materials such as oil, gas and chemicals; those who work in manufacturing plants that use flammable solvents; people who use machinery that could cause sparks (e.g., welders); and anyone exposed to electrical equipment or wires that may spark and start fires.

This can be worn by anyone, and it’s especially important if you work in a job that involves firefighting or welding. If you don’t have a job with those risks, fire retardant clothing is still a good idea!


Fire retardant clothing is a must if you work in industries that have a high risk of fire and therefore injury. It’s also a good idea to wear fire retardant clothing if you work with machinery or electrical equipment that could spark and cause dangerous fires.

Fire retardant clothing is a great safety measure that can help prevent serious accidents and injuries. If you’re looking for fire retardant clothing, we have a wide range of products that can help protect you from fires. From flame-resistant coveralls to flame-resistant shirts and trousers, we have everything you need to keep yourself safe on the job.

We hope this article has helped you learn more about fire retardant clothing and why it’s important to wear. If you want to learn more about this topic, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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