USAC Racing Forum

General Chat => Point .25 => Topic started by: IndyQMDad on January 06, 2010, 02:47:33 PM

Title: Driver Safety - Fire Suits
Post by: IndyQMDad on January 06, 2010, 02:47:33 PM
Over the weekend the family and I were at the Nike Outlet Store. My son asked if he could get a couple of the Dri-Fit shirts. Since my brain immediately relates about 95% of everything I hear to racing in some way or another, I responded, "sure, but remember you can't wear it under your race suit".

Simpson published a notice awhile back about the danger of wearing synthetic materials under fire suits. I may have shared it on this forum before, but I thought it was worthy of posting again as a reminder to all of my racing friends.

I have seen so many kids at the track wearing this type of shirt. They are great for helping them keep cool, so it sounds like the perfect solution to a hot day and heavy, hot safety equipment. Unfortunately, these synthetic shirts; such as the ones from Nike, Under Armour, Addidas, etc pose a major safety risk in the event of a fire. Did you know that an SFI 3.2A/1 suit has a TPP rating of 6 which means it offers 3 seconds of protection from a fire before 2nd degree burns occur? When a synthetic material is placed into this equation, melting may occur even more quickly.

We are very fortunate that the sanctioning bodies do a pretty nice job of helping our kids race safely by mandating the proper safety equipment; however, there are many things that we can do to ensure that our kids don't just have adequate protection, that they have the best protection available.

This is a good topic for your next club meeting. It may sound very obvious to some; however, I think there are many parents that may never think about stuff like this. Honestly, I didn't until I came across this article by Simpson. 

Sorry to stay on this soap box so long. Happy and safe racing!

Title: Re: Driver Safety - Fire Suits
Post by: sfreitas20 on January 06, 2010, 03:56:22 PM
This is a great topic.  Since reading the notice a long time ago I have seen many kids wearing those clothes under their firesuits.  Every time I have sought out the parents to talk about the notice because I couldn't live with myself if a kid got seriously injured and I didn't share information I knew could have prevented it.

Title: Re: Driver Safety - Fire Suits
Post by: Swartz on January 06, 2010, 04:07:11 PM
I know they have gone out of style, sorta, with the new multi layer suits but good ole' nomex undies work well. I breaths when it's hot and in April or October it's nice and toasty.

Title: Re: Driver Safety - Fire Suits
Post by: sfreitas20 on January 06, 2010, 05:35:59 PM
I have been considering getting AJ a set to wear under his suit figuring it would add another layer of protection there, but I haven't seen anyone doing that with their kids.  Has anyone tried it with their kids and if so how comfortable was it for the kid?

Title: Re: Driver Safety - Fire Suits
Post by: IndyQMDad on January 07, 2010, 01:16:10 PM

Fire protective under garments have evolved greatly over the years. The latest evolution is mostly made from Carbon X and is very comfortable against the drivers skin. The biggest challenge we face is that most of our drivers are very small. My son, for example, weighs only 50 pounds. I haven't been able to find any manufacturer producing these items in youth sizes. If anyone else has, I would love to have the information.

Presently, my son wears an SFI 3.2a/5 suit. Beneath his suit he wears 100% cotton clothing.

Title: Re: Driver Safety - Fire Suits
Post by: BuckeyeQMDad on January 08, 2010, 09:01:03 AM
Hey Dave-

So from what I am reading the nomex is the best/most logical solution for this safety issue: does have the ability to provide this stuff? If so, what are the smallest sizes available and what kind of cost are we talking about as well for a nomex set-up- I think I've heard there pretty expensive? Are they any other more economical routes to go?