TRENDS IN SEW ON FLAME RESISTANT REFLECTIVE TAPE
It’s fair to say that no one needs sew on reflective tape on their garments more than emergency personnel such as firemen, policemen, and paramedics and persons working in the heat treating industries such as steel mills and foundries. You know the old adage “where there’s smoke there’s fire”. Well that holds very true for the working environments of these persons. All of them are likely to encounter smoky, dark, and rapidly changing working environments. Along with moving vehicles, other emergency staff and heavy equipment. They all will be wearing outer protective garments that are most likely flame resistant and as an added feature they better have flame resistant (also call fire retardant) sew on reflective tape on their protective clothing. This sewn reflective tape is even more necessary since the garment itself is often likely to be a darker, neutral, or soiled color.
The flame resistant or fire retardant sew on reflective tape can be solid red, solid yellow or lime colored, or solid silver. Or it’s often a triple stripe yellow-silver-yellow, or red-silver-red. All of them are effective. Typically it’s cotton backed, or a synthetic fabric backed and it can withstand limited (not daily) washings in a typical commercial garment cleaning service. It’s often 2” wide and sold in 50 or 100 meter rolls.
A new trend and a very important one is to have this flame resistant reflective tape to be perforated with a repeated pattern on tiny holes. Recent studies have shown that personnel in high heat situations are often clothed already in heavy safety garments and are probably perspiring freely or wet from fire fighting or hose spray. When these personnel come into contact with a sudden intense “flare up” that internal water soaked clothing immediately turns into superheated steam. This steam should escape thru the garment fabric. However, studies have shown that burn patterns are likely to develop directly underneath the strips of ordinary solid backed sew on reflective tape. This tape can act as a natural barrier keeping steam inside the garment and causing serious steam skin burns. If you are responsible for procuring, or specifying protective heat safety garments please ask for the new style perforated sew on flame resistant reflective tape. Qualified suppliers like www.briargatesupply.com carry this product. Your people deserve it!