Posted by byager | Fire and Rescue, PPE, Performance, Safety
Thursday, May 12th, 2011 9:05 am

What to look for in a flame-resistant, high-visibility vest

There’s no denying the importance of visibility in keeping first responders safe. During the past decade, the use of high-visibility garments in areas with vehicular traffic has become commonplace. While standards for color and amount of reflective material have been addressed with past ANSI Standards, the new ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 High Visibility Standard has now incorporated flame resistant (FR) parameters as well. If a manufacturer wants to mark high visibility apparel as being FR, the garment must meet one of the seven ASTM or NFPA FR tests referenced in the ANSI 107-2010 Standard and certify its conformance to the FR requirement.

Is FR protection an important feature in your high-visibility vests?

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This is an important step in ensuring that high-visibility vests do not endanger first responders exposed to flame or high heat. Industrial high visibility safety fluorescent materials cannot be used in high temperature environments because they are not flame resistant. And consider this — fluorescent materials only work well when they’re clean. This can be a particular challenge for firefighters because most of their operations result in soiled clothing.

Many PPE manufacturers offer high visibility flame-resistant vests. Here’s what to look for:

  • Flame resistant, thermally-stable materials that won’t melt or drip .
  • Long-lasting Flame Resistance that won’t wash out.
  • Anti-static fiber properties to reduce the risks from flammable vapors at roadway incidents.
  • Designed for easy-on, easy-off mobility.
  • Meets ASTM F2302 Standard Performance Specification for Labeling Protective Clothing as Heat and Flame Resistant.
  • Complies with ANSI 107-2010 Class 2, Level 2 and ANSI 207- 2006.
  • Combination of fluorescent and reflective materials for maximum daytime and nighttime visibility and identification.
  • A range of sizing options for optimum fit.
  • Cargo and radio pockets for easy storage of tools and communications equipment.
  • Machine washable with minimal shrinkage.

One Response to “What to look for in a flame-resistant, high-visibility vest”

  1. Great article! High Vis and FR combination garments are becoming increasingly popular because of the new regulations. WE have lots of customers asking us how to keep these High Vis colors clean and so far the only answer we’ve gotten is “follow washing instructions” I would try using spot treatments, as long as the stain remover doesn’t contain bleach I think you should be okay, the reflective taping is definitely a crucial part of the item. We are currently working on a High Vis stain remover test for our customers.