More than fashion: how fireproof fabric could save your life

November 27, 2014

Firemen aren't the only ones who rely on flame-resistant fabrics to stay safe. At home and work, it's used everywhere. Here's how fireproof fabric might one day help save your life.

Fireproof fabric is fabric that's been treated to be flame resistant: any flame extinguishes itself when the fire source is removed from the material. It goes without saying that firefighting suits are made of textile fibers that meet high standards of heat and flame resistance. But did you know that other workers also wear fireproof clothing? And did you know that fireproof fabric could one day help save your life at home as well as in public places? Here's how.

Natural-looking fireproof fabrics

A great number of workers wear shirts, pants, suits or lab coats that are made with fireproof fabrics. The material can be soft, light and comfortable and look just like regular work clothes. The only difference is the added protection that they provide against the risk of severe burns. Workers in the following industries often wear fireproof clothing:

  • Electricity (maintenance, public utilities).
  • Gas and oil.
  • Chemical products.
  • Mining.
  • Manufacturing industries.
  • Soldering and metallurgy.

The fireproof clothing worn by these workers provides a high level of thermal protection that meets the safety standards established by the CanadianGeneral StandardsBoard, as well as those that come under the National Fire Protection Association.

Fireproof fabric sold by the meter

Certain businesses specialize in the sale of fireproof fabrics by the yard. Offices, hospitals, schools, theaters, hotels, restaurants and other commercial buildings proactively use fabrics that resist flammability to ensure your safety. These textiles are used for:

  • Curtains.
  • Pillows.
  • Quilts.
  • Bedspreads.
  • Fleece blankets.
  • Upholstery fabric for armchairs and sofas.

Fire-retardant fabrics can be bought in some fabric stores. What's more, the fire extinguisher section of your hardware store may stock spray-on products that can help make your home safer. You can treat carpets, curtains, furniture, mattresses, dried flowers and other flammable materials with these products, but in no way do they replace other safety measures you put in place.

Protect yourself

During a fire, it takes only about three minutes for smoke to fill your entire home. The following measures could potentially help protect the well-being of you and your family, and allow you to escape in that event:

  • Install a smoke detector on each floor. Regularly replace the battery and perform checks to ensure it functions properly.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector. It must also be checked routinely.
  • Place portable fire extinguishers near the kitchen and fireplace. Know how to use them.
  • Prepare an evacuation plan and practice it!

If the fire spreads, don’t try to limit damages at the risk of your safety. Leave the house immediately and call for help. Your safety and that of your family is more important than material possessions, so ensure everyone gets out unharmed.

More than fashion: how fireproof fabric could save your life
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