Flame Resistant Information

Garment Care

Garment Care Garment Care
Carhartt FR products are flame-resistant for the useful life of the garment, provided recommended care instructions are followed.

Below are some facts related to flame-resistance and garment care.

• FR garments can be home laundered - follow the care instructions on the label and the FR qualities will remain in the fabric for the useful life of the garment.

• FR garments do not require special detergents, but detergent should not contain fabric softeners - the fabric softener doesn' t remove the FR treatment, but the fabric softener itself may coat the fiber and mask flame resistant performance. It may also serve as fuel in case of combustion.

• FR fabrics do not have to be washed in specific temperatures, but temperatures provided on garment care labels are recommended to avoid excessive shrinkage. Temperatures in home laundries are fine for FR. In reality, temps can get too hot for FR garments and negatively affect the treatment, but that's not a factor in home laundering - home washers/dryers can't reach temperatures that high - industrial launderers are where you need to be careful of too much heat. So it's recommended to reference temperatures on garment care labels.

• FR clothing does not have to be washed separately. The only reason someone would separate FR from regular clothing is to keep very dirty work clothes separate from the other clothes - the FR treatment has no negative impact on the other clothing

• Don't use bleach - over time, bleach will break down the molecular bond between the fabric and the FR treatment

• Don't use starch on FR garments because starch is a propellant

• FR garments can be dry cleaned (as long as no starch is used) and ironed FR Denim garments are not recommended to be dry cleaned as the indigo dye in them can fade excessively from this cleaning method.

• Don't use DEET on FR clothing - DEET is one of the most effective mosquito repellents on the market, but it should only be used on the skin, never on FR clothing. For the most effective mosquito and tick protection, use DEET based repellents on the skin (especially on exposed skin) and use a permethrin (the active ingredient in most lice shampoos) product washed into or applied to flame-resistant clothing. These products do not add any appreciable flammability to FR clothing and therefore do not affect its flame-resistant properties. When using permethrin in a spray form, use the WATER-BASED formulas only. Propellants are almost always flammable in this application, so the powder form washed into the clothing or the WATER-BASED spray formula is recommended.

Laundering FR garments is as simple as following the recommended instructions on the garment care label.

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Insulated Outerwear Insulated Outerwear
Machine wash warm at a temperature not to exceed 140 degrees F (60 degrees C). Do not use bleach, hydrogen peroxide, softeners or starch. Tumble dry low and remove promptly. Iron with low heat. Garments may be dry cleaned.

For maximum color retention this garment should be washed in a large capacity commercial washing machine. Avoid overloading for best results.

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Canvas and Duck Garments Canvas and Duck Garments
Home laundering of our canvas and duck flame-resistant garments in colors Black and Dark Navy, may result in color streaking. While this issue does not degrade the safety of the garment, it does impact the aesthetic quality of the garment. To limit the potential for color streaking, we recommend commercial laundering of your Black and Dark Navy flame-resistant garment. Please ask that the garment is turned inside out prior to washing.

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Knit Shirts and Accessories Knit Shirts and Accessories
Machine wash cold; using the permanent press cycle, separately. Do not use bleach, hydrogen peroxide, softeners or starch. Tumble dry low and remove promptly. Iron with low heat. Garments may be dry cleaned.

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Safety Standards


NFPA 70E, the standard for electrical safety in the workplace, is published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NFPA has served as an authority in the U.S. on fire, electricity and building safety since 1896. The purpose of the standard is to provide a "practical safeguarding of employees during activities such as the installation, operation, maintenance, and demolition of electric conductors, electric equipment, signaling and communications conductors." NFPA 70E is a voluntary consensus standard, not a law. However, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognizes NFPA 70E as a generally accepted industry practice and has referenced it in citations.

Who NFPA 70E covers

NFPA 70E was developed to protect electrical workers in all industries who work on or near energized parts or equipment that are capable of generating an arc flash. Such equipment would include high-voltage switching and grounding gear, panel boards, switchboards, motor control centers, motor starters, metal clad switchgear, transformers, and meters. Common occupations covered under NFPA 70E include electrical maintenance workers, industrial electricians, and machine operators.

What NFPA 70E requires

Flame resistant clothing is addressed in Chapter 1 of the standard, Safety-Related Work Practices. NFPA 70E requires employers to conduct an arc flash hazard analysis to identify a worker's potential exposure to arc-flash energy. The results of the analysis are then used to determining safe work practices, arc flash protection boundaries, and the appropriate level of personal protective equipment.

The standard states that all equipment must be de-energized before being worked on unless the employer can demonstrate that de-energizing introduces additional or increased hazards or is infeasible due to equipment design or operational limitations. If de-energizing the equipment is not feasible, the employer must establish a "flash protection boundary" which is the minimum distance from an arc source where a person could receive a second-degree burn if an arc flash occurred. When it is determined that an employee must perform electrical work within the flash protection boundary, he or she shall wear protective clothing and all parts of the body within the arc flash protection boundary must be protected.

NFPA 70E requires the use of one of two methods for determining the appropriate level of flame-resistant clothing:

1. Incident Energy Analysis - The employer must determine the potential incident energy exposure of the worker in cal/cm ². Based on this analysis, the worker must wear arc-rated flame-resistant clothing with an Arc Thermal Performance Value (ATPV - measured in cal/cm ²), or EBT greater than the potential exposure level.

2. Hazard Risk Categories (HRC) - To simplify the process, NFPA 70E has developed a table of common electrical job tasks and determined a hazard/risk category for each task. The table above, adapted from NFPA 70E-2009 (Table 130.7(C)(11)), lists the five hazard risk categories, corresponding required minimum arc rating of flame-resistant clothing and the Carhartt HRC color codes.


Look for Carhartt HRC color codes when viewing our online products.

An ATPV is a rating assigned to flame-resistant clothing indicating the level of protection provided. Higher-weight (e.g., thicker, denser) fabrics typically have higher ATPVs and provide increased protection (as does the layering of FR clothing). All Carhartt flame-resistant clothing has the ATPV/EBT marked on the inside label for easy reference. The ATPV is expressed in calories per cm2 and represents the thermal exposure from an electric arc that will create a second-degree burn in human tissue. If the ATPV cannot be calculated because the fabric breaks open, the energy causing the fabric to break open is expressed as the Energy of Breakopen Threshold (EBT). The higher the value the greater the protection.


For general industry, NFPA 70E:
• Mandates that employers conduct a hazard risk assessment to determine the potential arc exposure for employees who work on or near energized parts or equipment. The level of arc exposure is referred to as the ATPV and is measured in calories/cm ² (often called a cal rating).

• Requires employees to wear flame-resistant clothing with an ATPV, or cal rating, equal to or greater than the determined arc hazard.

• Simplifies the hazard assessment and compliance process by creating HRC for common tasks an electrical worker would perform. Therefore, an FR clothing item's HRC rating determines if that item provides sufficient protection for a particular job. As a result, Carhartt FR clothing carries HRC tags. And, unlike some others, Carhartt HRC tags are externally visible, allowing supervisors and safety officers to easily confirm workers are in compliance with NFPA 70E regulation.

For more information or to purchase a copy of the NFPA 70E standard visit the NFPA web site.

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NFPA 2112

What is NFPA 2112

NFPA 2112, the standard for flame-resistant garments for protection of industrial personnel against flash fire, is published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The National Fire Protection Association has served as an authority in the U.S. on fire, electricity and building safety since 1896. The purpose of the standard is to "provide minimum requirements for the design, construction, evaluation, and certification of flame-resistant garments for use by industrial personnel, with the intent of providing a degree of protection to the wearer and reducing the severity of burn injuries resulting from accidental exposure to hydrocarbon flash fires" NFPA 2112 is a voluntary consensus standard, not a law. However, OSHA recognizes NFPA 2112 as a generally accepted industry practice.

Who NFPA 2112 covers

NFPA 2112 was developed to protect industrial workers and primarily those in the oil and petrochemical industries against flash fires. A flash fire is defined as "a fire that spreads rapidly through a diffuse fuel, such as dust, gas, or the vapors of an ignitable liquid, without the production of damaging pressure". Flash fires are unplanned exposures that typically last three seconds or less. NFPA 2112 does not apply to protective clothing for electrical flashes, wildland fire fighting, technical rescue, structural fire fighting, proximity fire fighting, or any fire fighting operations or hazardous materials emergencies.

What NFPA 2112 requires

Organizations must conduct a hazard assessment of the work environment to determine if flammable chemicals are present in quantities necessary to generate a flash fire. If a flash-fire hazard does exist, the requirements for wearing flame-resistant clothing shall be based on the potential hazards that workers are exposed to as part of their work duties. Factors in determining if flame-resistant clothing is required shall include, but not be limited to, the following :

• The potential for the task being performed to increase the possibility of a flammable release; this could result from a mechanical failure such as a line breaking.

• Operating conditions of the process - that is, potential for flammable fumes or vapors, and so forth.

• The presence of engineering controls designed to reduce exposure to flammable materials present during normal operations.

• Accident history. If it is determined that flame-resistant clothing is required, the garments shall comply with the requirements of NFPA 2112 and be labeled accordingly.

In order for garments to be meet NFPA 2112 standards all components of the garment must be tested and certified by a 3rd party. The most common certification is completed by UL. A garment will include a label showing that it is UL Classified. Customers can also check garment certification on the UL website.


For the oil and petrochemical industries, NFPA 2112:

• Mandates that employers conduct a flash-fire hazard assessment to determine the risk of a flash fire.
• Requires employees to wear flame-resistant clothing if the potential for a flash fire exists.


The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.269 covers the operation and maintenance of electric power generation, control, transformation, transmission and distribution lines and equipment. Part (l) (6) (iii) states: "The employer shall ensure that each employee who is exposed to the hazards of flames or electric arc does not wear clothing that, when exposed to flames or electric arcs, could increase the extent of the injury that would be sustained by the employee". This is the only federal law relating to FR clothing for electrical purposes. It is currently being rewritten and is expected to closely mirror the NFPA70E and NESC standards.

Carhartt FR garments that meet NFPA 2112 standards for the oil & gas industry have been classified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

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Published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) sets the ground rules for practical safeguarding of persons during the installation, operation, or maintenance of electric supply and communication lines and associated equipment. The NESC contains the basic provisions that are considered necessary for the safety of employees and the public under the specified conditions. Although not a federal law (some states do make the NESC law), NESC is a voluntary consensus standard, and is the standard OSHA refers to when abating electrical safety in the utility industry. Although the NESC has been in existence since 1973, the 2007 revision marked the first time that flame-resistant, arc-rated clothing was included as a safety requirement and the 2012 version expanded arc-rated clothing down to lower voltages with complete tables specifying apparel requirements from 4 cal/cm ² through 60 cal/cm ².

Who NESC covers

NESC is specific to the electrical utility industry and "covers the electric supply conductors and equipment . . .(including) electric supply stations, that are accessible only to qualified personnel." NESC basically applies to all electric utility work performed at investor-owned utilities, electric co-ops and municipalities.

What NESC requires

The NESC Rule 410A3 governing the use of flame-resistant, arc-rated clothing for electrical utilities, requires the following:

• Effective January 1, 2009, the employer shall ensure that an assessment is performed to determine potential exposure to an electric arc for employees who work on or near energized parts or equipment. The 2012 rule added low voltage equipment to the >1000V equipment requirement in 2007.

• If the assessment determines a potential employee exposure greater than 2 cal/cm ²exists, the employer shall require the employee to wear clothing or a clothing system that has an effective arc rating at least equal to the anticipated level of arc energy.

• When exposed to an electric arc or flame, clothing made from the following materials shall not be worn: Acetate, nylon, polyester, or polypropylene unless arc rated in a blend.

• The effective arc rating of clothing or a clothing system to be worn shall be determined using Tables 410-1, 410-2, and 410-3 or performing an arc hazard analysis.

• When an arc hazard analysis is performed, it shall include a calculation of the estimated arc energy based on the available fault current, the duration of the arc (cycles), and the worker distance from the potential hazard.

EXCEPTION : If the clothing required by this rule has the potential to create additional and greater hazards than the possible exposure to the heat energy of the electric arc, then clothing with an arc rating or ATPV less than that required by the rule can be worn. This is normally allowed for uncommon work methods such as helicopter work on live power lines.


For electric utilities, NESC:

• Specifies that employers conduct a hazard risk assessment to determine the potential arc exposure for employees who work on or near energized parts or equipment.

• Requires employees to wear flame-resistant clothing with an ATPV, or cal rating, equal to or greater than the determined arc hazard.

For more information, visit the IEEE Standards Association web site.

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General Information

How does Carhartt flame-resistant clothing help protect against burn injury?
If exposed to electric arc flashes or flash fires, clothing made from most untreated (e.g.,non-FR) fibers will continue to burn once ignited. In contrast, Carhartt FR clothing is specially designed to self-extinguish within two seconds after the source of ignition is removed - thereby limiting the worker's degree of burns, and body burn percentage. FR fabrics are not flame proof; however, they are specially designed to be flame-resistant.

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Carhartt flame-resistant clothing vs. traditional Carhartt clothing
Carhartt FR clothing is clearly identified on the outside with a "Carhartt FR" label in place of the traditional Carhartt label. Additionally, all Carhartt FR clothes have external HRC rating tags - making it easy for supervisors and safety officers to see if workers are in compliance with regulations (Not all FR clothing is so labeled). ATPV values are shown on inside labels. In addition, product hangtags also distinguish Carhartt FR clothing. Garments that meet UL Classification for NFPA 2112 have a label sewn inside.

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Can the flame-resistant chemicals be washed out?
No. Carhartt flame-resistant clothing is guaranteed to be flame-resistant for the useful life of the garment; regardless of the number of washings (servicings) in either the home or industrial laundering, provided the garment care instructions are followed.

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Will non-treated 100% cotton and other natural fibers help protect against possible burn injury?
Non-treated cotton and wool are flammable fibers. If exposed to electric arcs and flash fires, these materials will continue to burn causing possible severe injury and death.

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Treated Fabrics
Treated fabrics are cotton or cotton-blend fabrics that are treated with chemicals that form a permanent bond with the fabric that cannot be washed out when the recommended laundering instructions are followed. The chemical treatment changes the molecular structure of the fabric. Carhartt uses FR-treated cotton fabrics for most styles.

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Inherent Fabrics
Inherent fabrics are made with fibers that are designed to be flame resistant. Flame resistance is part of the fibers' DNA and is a permanent characteristic of the fabric. Modacrylic blends are commonly used inherent fabrics. Carhartt uses this blend for our inherently flame-resistant styles.

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Many people ask about arc ratings when flame-resistant clothing is layered. The total arc rating cannot be determined by adding the ratings of the two items. In most cases the total arc rating is higher than the number calculated by simply adding the arc ratings from the two items. Layered testing is the only way to conduct testing to determine the total arc rating for layered FR garments.

Carhartt has conducted layered testing for a variety of combinations, using some of our most popular FR clothing styles. The resulting layered arc rating of the various combinations are listed on the table below for your reference.

FR Layering

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What is EBT?
Like ATPV, Breakopen Threshold Energy (EBT) is a rating assigned to FRC indicating the level of protection provided. EBT is used when ATPV cannot be measured due to flame-resistant fabric breakopen. EBT is also measured in calories per centimeter squared (cal/cm2).

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What is ASTM F1506?
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) developed F1506, the Standard Performance Specification for Flame Resistant Textile Material for Wearing Apparel for Use by Electrical Workers Exposed to Momentary Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards. This is a pass/fail standard that requires a sample of flame-resistant fabric to self extinguish with a <2 second afterflame and a <6" char length. The FR fabric must also stand up to these requirements after 25 washes/dry cleaning. All Carhartt flame-resistant garments meet the ASTM F1506 requirement.

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Who should determine what Arc Thermal Performance Value/Hazard Risk Category an FR user should be wearing?
The ATPV/HRC protection level worn by an FR user should be determined by the user's employer. The employer must do a hazard risk assessment for the user's job and inform them of the protection level needed. This should never be determined by the apparel manufacturer (Carhartt) or the retailer.

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Can Carhartt flame-resistant clothing be used for wildland fire fighting?
Carhartt flame-resistant clothing has not been tested to meet the requirements of NFPA 1977, The Standard for Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting, therefore, Carhartt flame-resistant clothing is not recommended for this use.

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Is Carhartt flame-resistant clothing recommended for welding?
Carhartt does not make any garments that are specifically designed to be worn while welding, or performing similar jobs that involve exposure to sparks and flames. Carhartt Flame-Resistant Clothing will protect better than 100% cotton or synthetic garments, because the FR fabric is self-extinguishing. However, flame-resistant clothing is susceptible to holes and fabric burns created by sparks and metal debris generated by activities such as welding.

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Can Carhartt Flame-Resistant Clothing be repaired?
Yes. Carhartt FR Clothing can be repaired, but repairs must be made with fabrics and sewing threads that have at minimum the same flame-resistant properties as the original garment.

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Is flame-resistant thread required for embroidery applications?
None of the current regulations governing the use of FR clothing specifically require the use of FR thread for embroidery applications. However, Carhartt recommends the use of flame-resistant thread for embroidery or emblem attachments.

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