Safety from fire is often related to homologated suits, but maybe not enough attention has been devoted to the work of underwear in the task of saving drivers’ lifes.
Long johns and top are fundamental. They are, in fact, an integral part of the suit. Fire tests such as the ones executed with Dupont ThermoManTM testify that: the suit’s layers retard the transmission of heat and fire, but still an amount of heat is transferred to the inside, where the underwear does its job. Evidence of this is its color change, turning from white to brown: underwear is the last fire retardant layer.
In light of this, it becomes highly important to avoid bad practices of underwear alteration, regrettably frequent not only at a “grassroots” level. In particular, never (never!) cut the long johns. It sounds weird, but some drivers do it.
Of course, there have always been comfort and transpiration issues with underwear, and that’s the reason behind undue alteration of this safety device. Manufacturers constantly work to improve those aspects without affecting safety. Adapting concepts taken from hike wear, the aramid texture is less dense in the most heat-exposed areas: underarm, brachial, back, lumbar, front tibial and popliteal areas. This guarantees immediate relief at the moment the driver takes the suit off after driving.