Flame Resistant vs Fire Retardant

 In Fire Safety, News

Did you know that flame resistant and fire retardant are two different things?  You can use flame and fire interchangeably.   Resistant and retardant are very similar and can be confusing.  If you use the wrong one you could get burned.  The biggest difference between fire resistant and fire retardant materials lies in how each is made.

Flame Resistant materials may be infused with a chemical while others are naturally flame resistant. They are designed to prevent the spread of fire and withstand heat.   Flame resistant materials should self-extinguish once the source of ignition is removed. Refinery workers, electricians, foundry workers, maintenance workers, and power and electric utility workers wear flame resistant clothing in their daily duties.  There are many different types of flame resistant materials used to make clothing, construction materials, and other items.

Fire Retardant materials are chemically treated to be slow burning or self-extinguishing when exposed to an open flame. These fabrics can be made from any material, but they must be treated with special chemicals to qualify as being fire retardant.  Fire retardants inhibit or delay the spread of fire by suppressing the chemical reactions in the flame or by the formation of a protective layer on the surface of a material.  Common fire retardant products are fabrics, carpets, drapes, and furniture. They take time to ignite allowing us time to escape a fire. Fire retardant sprays and additives are available for virtually any surface including fabrics, wood, electronic components, and paper. Fire retardant products are widely used to make a variety of goods less likely to burn. They are also used to fight wildfires by spaying the burning areas from airplanes.

Whether you use a flame resistant or fire retardant material should depend on your specific need.  Call Fire Control Systems for all your fire safety needs or questions.

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