When it comes to buying clothing, it’s common for the process to take a bit of time. After all, not only do you need to find something you like, but that also looks good on you and meets your comfort needs. Buying traditional clothing items can be challenging enough. With that, it might prove difficult to determine where to start should you need to purchase more specialized items for your occupation.

There are several important factors to consider when buying FR shirts and other protective clothing items. Settling for even one of them could greatly impact your safety on the job and your overall experience on the jobsite. Consider the following elements and what you should look for when purchasing quality protective gear.

Protection Rating

If your occupation requires the use of protective clothing, the first thing to check for is a protection rating. There is a diverse range of gear on the market, and each type corresponds with a particular job hazard. As such, there are several levels to sift through, and what may work for one of your team members might not be right for you. Make sure you carefully assess your jobsite hazards and choose clothing with the proper protection rating. FR clothing already meets protection standards for burn, heat, and ignition protection, but you may want something more specific if you also need electricity insulation.

OSHA Compliance

In addition to having the proper protection level, it’s also crucial that the gear you use is OSHA-compliant. OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has strict gear requirements for several potentially dangerous industries. These requirements have been put in place to protect workers from exposure to jobsite hazards and reduce the risk of injuries while on the clock. Looking for garments that demonstrate compliance with these rules ensures you have the best possible protection for your specific industry. It also helps your place of business avoid OSHA investigations and subsequent fines.

Manufacturer Guarantee

A manufacturer willing to stand by their work is a great sign that they have a product worth taking pride in. This is an especially important component when it comes to safety and protection equipment. Having an official claim that a garment’s protection capabilities will last can go a long way in keeping you confident and secure on the job.

Overall Comfort

Another vital factor to consider when buying FR shirts is the overall comfort of the garment. When you feel your best, you’re more likely to put in the work and make the most of every minute on the job. Otherwise, you risk focusing on scratchy materials and tight spots rather than the task at hand. Always take some time to gauge how you feel in a particular FR clothing item before you buy it.

Moisture-Wicking Capabilities

Be on the lookout for moisture-wicking fabrics when evaluating FR gear. Hard-working professionals can sweat a lot throughout the day, and it’s imperative to prevent a little extra moisture from adversely impacting your performance. Polyester, Kevlar, and nylon blends, in particular, are great for wicking sweat and humidity away from the body, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout the day. Even on the hottest days, these shirts dry quickly to eliminate the need for changing partway through a project.

Tear and Snag Resistance

Whether it’s on a loose screw or a piece of jobsite equipment, workers snag their shirts while on the job more often than many would believe. When this happens, you could very easily tear your protective equipment and even injure yourself in the process. For this reason, you will want gear with the necessary tensile strength to hold up to the stress. Quality FR clothing items will resist tearing or snagging, keeping them in better shape longer and preventing potential wounds.

Color Quality and Retention

Make sure you don’t overlook the appearance of your chosen FR shirt. Clothing color plays an important role in keeping professionals safe by drawing attention to individuals as they work near equipment and other hazards. With the proper visibility, you can make yourself known to your peers, making it easier to avoid injury. As such, you’ll want a shirt with vibrant coloring that won’t fade with frequent washing.

Form Retention and Washability

Along with maintaining their color, you’ll want to ensure your FR shirts maintain their form after going through the wash. Shrinkage, discoloration, and fabric fraying in the washing machine are some of the most common causes of premature shirt deterioration. Not only will they cause you to throw them out much sooner, but you’ll also need to find replacements much more frequently. However, with the right blend of fabrics, you’ll be able to wash these shirts as often as you’d like and not worry about ruining them.

Product Longevity

Industry professionals want products that are going to last a long time, and this includes their selection of gear. With this information, you’ll know you have reliable materials that will get you through the countless jobs ahead. FR shirts with a longer lifespan can save you money and keep you on the go regardless of a project timeline. So, make sure you look for something made to last and rated for its quality.

Manufacturer Support

FR clothing considerations don’t just include the products. You should also know whether the manufacturer of your FR gear can offer proper customer support. It’s no secret that FR safety regulations can be tough to navigate. But having a team of knowledgeable professionals to answer all your questions will be the key to finding the right gear for your needs. Never hesitate to contact your preferred FR clothing manufacturer to ask about their products. Their helpfulness can tell you all you need to know about the garments themselves.

Making the most of your FR clothing purchase is all about prioritizing quality. When you find flame-resistant shirts that check off all these boxes, you know you’re getting a product you can rely on. It’s important to us that every professional has the gear they need to be productive and safe on the job. Feel free to reach out and ask the hard questions—it’s the best way to determine whether certain shirts are the best option for you and your team.

10 Important Factors To Consider When Buying FR Shirts
Brittany Williams