While there are certainly some cases in which your FR clothing is damaged, but easy to repair, there are also cases where the garments are damaged beyond repair. When this happens, there’s nothing to do but to throw the items out and buy replacements.
Here are a few of the key warning signs it might be time to retire your flame-resistant clothing and buy replacements:
The clothing has tears or holes that are too large to be repaired safely and correctly.
The fabric itself is too worn and threadbare to provide adequate protection against the environmental hazards you will encounter.
The clothing has been stained with a flammable substance that can’t be removed through cleaning.
The garment has come into contact with bleach.
The collar, cuffs or seams are torn or otherwise frayed or open in some way.
If your flame-resistant clothing begins to exhibit any of these signs, it’s important not to delay. Buy a replacement item right away.
You might think to yourself, “This garment is still fine. I probably should buy a replacement, but I’ll wait another week, or another month.” This type of thinking is understandable, but it can also be extremely dangerous. You have no way of knowing when an accident will strike. What if, on the one day you need to be able to rely on your FR clothing to protect you, it is too damaged to do its job correctly?
Don’t wait. If your clothing gets damaged beyond repair, it’s time to buy a replacement.
However, keep in mind that you will not have to replace your FR clothing because the flame-resistant qualities have worn out. Since flame-resistant fabrics have an inherent chemical structure that makes them self-extinguishing, this property will not wear out over time. And even though flame-retardant clothing has been treated to achieve these same properties, most manufacturers provide a lifetime guarantee, meaning the qualities will not wear off in this case, either.