Tag Archives: Bulwark

Spray Safe: The Rules For Insect Repellent And FR Clothing

29 Apr

Spray Safe

With every new bug season, come swarms of new questions as to how to properly use insect repellent while wearing FR garments. Here are Bulwark’s “do and don’t” details. Make that, DEETails.

DEET is the active ingredient in many well known, and often used, insect repellents (liquids, lotions, sprays, wristbands, etc.). It is used to ward off biting pests such as mosquitoes and ticks – insects that may or may not be carrying far peskier diseases like West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease.

The problem for those who work where there are arc flash and flash fire hazards? DEET is HIGHLY flammable. Any flame resistant clothing sprayed with it has the potential to ignite and continue to burn if exposed to an ignition hazard.  Your guys don’t need that kind of fuel source.

Bulwark’s best advice: Do NOT put DEET on your FR clothing.  Ever. So stay, and spray, safe as warm weather approaches.


OSHA 1910.269 Q&A

19 Jun

Got Questions about OSHA 1910.269 and how it pertains to FR/AR Clothing? We’ve got Answers!

Click the link below to view our Q&A:


Bulwark OSHA 1910.269 Q&A




The MVP of FR Set To Roll Big at The Super Bowl of Safety

12 Jun

Today we announced our plans to participate at the American Society of Safety Engineers’ Safety 2013 Conference in Las Vegas (Las Vegas Convention Center, June 24-27, 2013). A fantastic opportunity for “the FR outfit of No Compromise,” according to David Crace, VP of Marketing at VF Imagewear.

“At Bulwark, we have come to think about ASSE’s annual Safety show as our Super Bowl,” says Crace. “ASSE represents the very core of the Safety, Health & Environmental community, just as Bulwark represents the very core of FR. It’s an honor – and frankly, an obligation – for us to be there. To connect with safety managers on a 1:1 basis, to remind them of all the ways our obsessive vigilance can translate to their ultimate trust; and to show them where we as a brand, and the industry as a whole, are headed.”

We will have a significant presence on the show floor at Safety 2013. First, at a “showcase” booth (#1337), where visitors can get the latest information on NFPA 70E, NFPA 2112 and Combustible Dust; as well as pose their burning questions to Bulwark’s Technical Experts at the booth’s FR Smart Bar throughout the event. Then again at the Bulwark-sponsored FR Lounge, (Booth #537) – where those who gain admission can mix and mingle with their SH&E peers, as well as get an exclusive look at the latest Bulwark apparel. To gain admission, attendees must first go to Booth #1337 or sign up online.

To add to the excitement, we are also planning a number of great giveaways at random times in both of its floor locations. Ranging from free custom T-shirts and hats, to ten sets of $100 in casino chips for the table, to a free iPad for one lucky winner. “Just bet on 42 years of FR experience and register at Booth #1337,” says Crace.

For updates on all Bulwark happenings at Safety 2013, follow them on Twitter and on Facebook.

Our first NASCAR race

29 Apr

This past Saturday evening, we made our NASCAR debut. We were honored to be a sponsor for No. 31 Jeff Burton.  In case you missed it, here is a recap of Jeff Burton’s run.

Jeff Burton and the No. 31 Airgas/Bulwark Chevrolet team ran in the top 15 for 369 laps of the 406-lap night race at Richmond International Raceway, and finished off the solid effort with a fifth-place finish. After starting the event from the 16th position, the South Boston, Va., native climbed into the top 15 early and reported to crew chief Luke Lambert that the No. 31 Chevrolet developed a tight-handling condition in the middle of the corners, especially on long green-flag runs. Lambert and the No. 31 pit crew worked hard throughout the evening by making tire pressure and chassis adjustments on multiple pit stops, while Burton maintained a top-15 running position. After narrowly avoiding a multi-car accident on lap 328, the Richard Childress Racing driver brought the white and black machine to pit road for fresh Goodyear tires and Sunoco Green E15 fuel. The adjustments made on the pit stop improved the handling of the car and Burton worked his way into the top 10 with 28 laps to go, and eventually moved to seventh-place on lap 385. The final caution flag of the night was displayed with four laps to go, setting up a green-white-checkered finish. While the top-six competitors came to pit road for service, Lambert made the call for his driver to stay out putting Burton at the top of the leaderboard. On the final restart, Burton raced hard before the drivers with fresh tires were able to get around the veteran driver on the final lap. In the end, Burton crossed the finish line in fifth for his first top-five result of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. With the strong finish, Burton gained four positions in Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings, moving up to 19th.

For more information about Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway, click here:http://www.rcrracing.com/

We had a blast. Special thanks to RCR Racing.Jeff Burton

How to properly wear Flame-Resistant Clothing

11 Mar

Many companies call me to ask what is the proper way to wear FRC (flame-resistant clothing). NFPA 2113, the standard on selection, care, use and maintenance of Flame Resistance Garments for protection of industrial personnel against flash fire, does not give us any guidance on how to actually wear the garments. Without a formal standard to go by, most employers look to industry consensus for this guidance. The following guidelines may help you to choose secondary flame-resistant clothing to keep you as safe as possible in the workplace.

First of all, choose proper fitting clothing. You will want the garments to be large enough to create a layer of “air” insulation in between the FRC and your undergarments. This layer of insulation can reduce the amount of heat that can transfer through the FRC in an exposure to flash fire or electric arc. You must always wear 100% natural fiber undergarments that will not melt. Most man made fabrics that are used in athletic under garments will melt in a thermal exposure and would cause significant injury even though the FRC performed exactly as it should. Lastly, be sure that the garments are not too big. Many industrial workers suffer injury every year from getting loose fitting clothing caught in equipment and machinery. Proper fitting clothing will be more comfortable and will last longer than garments that are too small or too big.

You must always keep your FRC free of any flammable soils. This can be difficult when working at chemical plants, refineries, or in oil and gas drilling operations but the rule of thumb is to always replace  soiled FRC with clean garments when they are introduced to anything that is flammable. The flammable soils will ignite when introduced to an ignition source. Bulwark offers a disposable FR coverall to be worn over your regular FRC that can be used in heavy soil environments. The garments must be worn with the shirt or coverall buttoned, zipped, or snapped as high as possible. Sleeves must never be rolled up, and shirt tails should always be tucked in. Always remember the chances of surviving a thermal event is greatly determined by percentage of body burn and your age. Just remember, the more of your body that is covered by FRC, the greater the chance of survival.

Always ensure that your outer most layer is FR. In all my years of providing quality FRC I have seen many companies offering secondary FRC but not providing their employees with FR outerwear or rainwear. Your FRC will not provide the protection you need in a thermal event if your jacket or rainwear burns or melts.

Bulwark garments designed by who? You!

28 Feb

Most of you know the Bulwark design team is made up of 4 ladies ages 28-35.  What do we know about designing Flame Resistant (FR) clothing?  We didn’t grow up rough necking in the oil fields of south Texas.  We did grow up playing on the beaches of South Padre Island.  We didn’t grow up strapping on gaffs.  We did grow up in strappy heals knowing the likes of Duke Power and Pike electric were going to make sure prom happened regardless of the storms blowing in.

What we do know is who to go talk to.  We are 4 tireless road warriors that spend our time with you.  We crawl through the wind turbines of Siemens. We are graduates of Mining School in Western Virginia.  We sit through hours of safety videos in order to go on site of numerous oil refineries and talk to you.  We cheer for you all at Regional and International Lineman’s Rodeos.  But most of all we watch you work and listen to what you say about the FR clothing you have to wear.  You pull no punches when you tell us the likes and dislikes of having to wear heavy, hot and uncomfortable FR.  We take your feedback and design lighter weight, more comfortable FR shirts and coveralls.  We design jeans that protect you and look good.

We might not know how to do your job but let’s face it you don’t want to know how to do ours either.  You just want flame resistant clothing you can count on.

Which one does what?

4 Feb

What happens to Nomex,  untreated Cotton, and untreated Polyester/Cotton when exposed to a flash fire?

Nomex extinguishes once the ignition source is removed.  The Untreated Cotton continues to burn until there is nothing left. The Untreated Polyester/Cotton blend continues to burn until there is nothing left too, but it also drips and melts.

Which one would you want to be wearing if you were exposed to hazardous ignition source?

Got Stains?

18 Jan

It’s the end of the day, you’ve worked hard and you are tired. You realize you have a nasty stain on your FR shirt. What do you do? Probably throw it in the hamper, who am I kidding…probably on the floor, and leave your wife to worry with it. Well, the first important thing to do is determine what the stain came from. Was it from lunch or was it from something you came into contact with during your normal job function? If your stain is mustard, no worries, just follow the care instructions inside your FR garment. The main thing to remember is to not use bleach while cleaning your garments, guess you should tell your wife that, huh? If your stain is something flammable, it should be removed immediately and replaced with clean FR shirt. Home or industrial laundering may successfully remove most types of both flammable and non flammable soils. However, home laundry detergents may not successfully remove some types of soil found in industry, especially heavy greases and oily soils. If flammable soils are not completely removed, the FR properties of the garment may be compromised.  It may be difficult to determine that flammable soils have been completely removed, but indicators would include the presence of stains and/or odors after laundering. However, staining alone is not an indication that the soil has not been adequately removed. If it appears that the garments may still be contaminated after home wash, laundering at a local commercial or industrial laundry may be required. Dry cleaning may be used to remove oils and greases.

If there is ever a question about whether a stain could compromise the FR properties of you garment , Bulwark will conduct flame resistant testing of the garment to determine its flame resistance. Just be aware that this is a destructive test and the garment will be destroyed.

Stay Protected and Stain-less

Who We Are

8 Jan

Bulwark® Protective Apparel is the largest manufacturer of flame-resistant apparel and accessories.  Bulwark is part of VF Corporation, VF has been in business for over 100 years and is the world’s largest apparel manufacturer.

Throughout Bulwark’s history, we’ve made it a priority to lead the industry with technological advances, the broadest product line, most robust service platform, and diverse international distribution capabilities that raise the bar for safety, durability and dependability.  While always keeping the protection of the wearer as our primary concern.

Each year Bulwark authors and publishes the Industry Update. Our technical publication has been the guide for manufacturers, safety managers and wearers in the flame resistant protective apparel industry for over 40 years. Bulwark takes a leading position in national consensus standards writing organizations such as ASTM International and the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association).

Bulwark provides the broadest range of flame-resistant apparel products to the market.  The level of choice available means that our customers can utilize a single source for any FR protective garment need. The breadth of the product line is continually supplemented with new products from the Bulwark innovative product development team. Bulwark pioneered many of the technological advancements in the FR market, and continues to do so with the industry’s most comprehensive collection of technical personnel.  More than any other supplier to this industry, we have played a key role in the ongoing development and continuing improvement of flame resistant garment technology.  Our rich history in this business assures a proven track record of garments tested in the most extreme working conditions.

Known for its innovation and quality, Bulwark provides unparalleled protection, comfort, and durability to hundreds of thousands of workers in electrical utilities and the chemical, oil, gas, and petrochemical industries across the world.  Bulwark pioneered Durable FR Cotton over 35 years ago and has continued to be the first to introduce great advances in FR garments and fabrics in the years to follow. In 1997 Bulwark was the first to introduce 65% NOMEX®/ 35% FR rayon garments to the market to address comfort in inherent fabrics.  A year later, Bulwark was the first to introduce durable FR cotton knits to the market. This innovation continues today with Bulwark being the first to introduce the latest in cutting-edge flame resistant apparel to the FR market, Cool Touch® 2.

Bulwark continues its heritage of innovation and leadership by offering the most comprehensive product line of shirts, pants, coveralls, outerwear, and accessories with over 3400 stock styles in a wide range of sizes, fabrics, styles and colors.  This enables us to provide Bulwark Protective Apparel regardless of their locations around the world.

Bulwark manufactures 95% of our product line which allows for complete customizing capabilities and fulfillment of the majority of stock item orders to be shipped within 48 hours.  In addition to our US distribution capabilities we also have diverse international distribution capabilities throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia with presence in over 60 countries worldwide.