New technologies continually are being developed to improve the comfort of FR clothing. In the new year, watch for lighter-weight fabrics, vented styles, moisture-wicking properties and special features for enhanced mobility.
With the number of women in industrial and fire service professions continuing to grow, 2017 is likely to bring an uptick in FR clothing styles designed specifically for women to provide a better fit, improve comfort and maximize functionality and protection.
If workers like the way their FR clothing looks and fits, they’re more likely to wear it compliantly. As off-the-job clothing styles continue to evolve, FR clothing manufacturers will need to update their product lines to continue to provide newer, more modern options.
Many job environments present multiple safety hazards at once, resulting in a need for workwear that provides multi-hazard protection. Garments that offer a combination of FR protection and high visibility, as well as garments that combine flame resistance with chemical-splash protection, are likely to grow in popularity in 2017. This trend also applies to FR workwear that provides simultaneous protection against flash fire, arc flash and molten metal splatter.
An increased focus on safety regulations as well as heightened awareness of the importance of FR clothing likely will lead to demand for higher-quality FR products. This includes clothing that provides better durability over time, is made by trusted manufacturers using materials from reputable suppliers and offers guaranteed flame resistance for the life of each garment.