Sorry to get my knickers in a wad, but I wasn't expecting ONLY "humurous" responses. Frankly I don't see how this requires unconventional thinking anymore than making other fire resistant clothing does. There is a high-enough percentage of our ranks who are female that discussion had to come up sometime, and will probably come up a few more times before this "unconventinal" topic slides over into the "conventional" column.
Bottom Line Up Front: when working around many of the systems we have, especially on aircraft, conductivity is a major concern. The Army is extremely Safety conscious and has many regulations which go well beyond the requirements of OSHA.
Yes there are rules about all sorts of conductors, and the aircrew are required to remove all conductors during flight. I can't discuss all the details in a forum like this, but these are some old aircraft, with a LOT of older elctronic equipment in the back and they have had "a number" of aborted flights due to smoke in the cabin over the years.
In order to eliminate the underwires in bras, the females all wear sports bras on these aircraft since, unless you read the label or somehow can look inside the stitching to see if the underwire is metal wire, or plastic, or resin, you really don't know until there's a Blue Genie. But that leads back to the meat of this discussion: most sports bras are anythng but fire-resistant, especially with brands like Under Armour being so popular.
My wife was looking for an alternative, not only for herself, but for other females on the aircraft as well.
By the way, in the Army us Soldiers often remove all of our jewlery: necklaces, medalliaons and even wedding bands while performing dangerous work like repairing radios, convoy operations and even doing Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services (PMCS) on our vehicles in the motorpool. This helps prevent injuries due to Blue Genies when working with electricity, prevents de-gloving injuries from having you ring caught on something and tearing your hand off while climbing on the vehicles.
You just answered the question I was going to ask about dog tags.
But our turnout gear has metal snaps. Zippers are now poly. But the coats still have metal fasteners.
I think of departments who think non-conductive gloves and a hot stick for power lines makes them safe.
You have given me quite an education.
I agree. I'd like to see some lab tests or something to ensure that putting the flame retardant next to skin would not result in some type of absorbsion poisoning. It's one thing to be safe, it's another thing to be safe and then find out you've shortened your life by unknowingly contaminating yourself!
Okay, I had to sign up just to chime in here! BTW, thanks for all the information! I am working on an informative email to my dept members after our chief announced last night that all females need to be wearing 100% cotton undergarments. Background: we are a volunteer dept with about 150 calls a year, I dress for comfort and work, with the 4 structure fires we have a year in the far back reaches of my mind. I am VERY safety orientated, I am willing to do the research and consider anything for safety sake. But when he seregated the 2 female ff's in the room and made it all about us I lost my top. My arguement was 1. are all MALE undegaments required to be 100% cotton? 2. what is the national standard for undergarments (NFPA politely bows out of requirements of undergarments.) and 3. if my undies are burning I have MUCH bigger issues than what they were made of.
So if women are "required" to wear fire retardant bra's are men required to wear the same boxers/briefs? And if we just go commando on top will the city gladly cover the cost of workers comp for back strain and skin tears/chaffing? and can a volunteer department with 90% noncompliant bunker gear even begin to make regulations on underwear?
Might I think twice aout wearing my silk and poly blend bra on a drill night, sure. But am i going to sacrifice daily comfort, for the very rare fire we have, nope.
I think you should see about having your department's new SOP reworded to make it gender-neutral and rather than requiring 100% cotton underwear (that should include T-shirts, they are under garments too), it should require all members to wear undergarments upper and lower body made of either 100% cotton or other natural fiber, OR a heat/flame resistant synthetic fabric such as APF.
While I agree that if your drawers are smoking you’re probably already in world of Sh** anyway, but why add another layer of crap that needs to be scraped off of you in the Burn Center? Underarmour and other non-flame resistant synthetics will melt to you if they are even briefly (no pun intended) exposed to flame. I mean, you should be just fine if you’re properly suited-up and have had a Battle Buddy or Safety check your bunker gear before making entry, but what if you fall through a floor into the burning basement? You might get lucky and be able to self-rescue quickly enough to avoid any real injury, but if your bunker gear gaps, or gets torn, when you fall and is even momentarily exposed to heat you might get shrink-wrapped in your T-shirt where you might have gotten away with a second-degree, or first degree, burn.
Anyway, it’ll save your department a lot of problems if they make it a policy prohibiting non-fire resistant synthetics such as nylon and polyester, and make it GENDER NEUTRAL. Beside the guys sh0uldn't be wearing their shiny tiger-striped speedos to fight fires in anyways...
your 2¢ is appreciated. We have a standing SOG that addresses appropiate attire, since we are all Vol and respond from home, work, church, the beach etc. most of us keep socks, long pants and a tee at the station with our gear. FYI this is SOUTH Texas and it gets HOT here, for about 9 months out of the year casual dress is shorts and flip flops and tanks or tees. But somehow last night this issue came up out of the blue, and since I am currently the ONLY interior female FF I took it a little personal that they were telling me what i should be wearing all the time IN CASE we have a call. Would be a much bigger concern for me if we had more than 4 structure fires a year. Also think that the 20+ sets of noncompliant bunker gear we have should be addressed WAY before my undies!
I was tempted to just take my bra off right there during the meeting though..... Espically when I had 2 men telling me how and where I should be buying bras. Next they'll be giving advice on breastfeeding and menstration, geeze it'll be more informative than Oprah!
Actually I've given probably more than my share of advice on bras, and breastfeeding. I try never to overstep my bounds though and am pretty reluctent to give advice except when it's needed. (i.e. if you are a well-endowed woman you cannot run 3.5 miles in your favorite low-cut lace bra...it isn't healthy for you).
But I deffinately agree with you about the bunker gear, THEY should be the first priority.