As Alli and Derek explain in this episode of “What in the FR??”, a good FR program can come apart at the seams when workers try to extend the life of their garments in their own ways. Sure, you want to get your money’s worth out of your FR, but we’ve seen a few cases where that responsible approach veers into something not so wise at all.
From well-intentioned patching, to kooky ideas like “recharging” with borax, to just plain overuse, it seems a reminder is in order: FR can and does wear out—giving thermal energy a pathway to burn that it will take.
Here are the basics of FR replacement:
- Holes and rips? Err on the side of caution. Standards allow for small repairs using like materials, but overdoing it leads to a Frankenstein’s monster that can chip away at safety.
- As for a garment that’s had lots of exposure to secondary accelerant, give it a “sniff test.” If it smells like fuel, it is fuel. Replace it!
- If you’re on the fence about replacing, err on the side of caution: the consequences of inaction could be unnecessary injury.
- Remember that you get what you pay for: the higher the quality and craft of the garment you choose in the first place, the longer it will remain in compliance.