When I found out that my husband needed to wear FR Clothing while out in the field my first thought was, oh cool he will be so protected out there and my second thought was, wait, how often will he be faced with accidental and sudden fires? None so far, but we’ve only been here a month so I’ll keep you updated.Here’s a little North Dakota fact for you: When you work on an oil site you need super duper heavy fire resistant clothing. FR Clothes, if you will.
In the name of spreading the word on this place I thought you should know, and I gathered some intel for you.
You see that handsome devil? No sudden flame is gonna get him. Every single thing you can see on him is a piece of FR clothing. Maybe not the boots? Not sure on those. But he’s wearing a long sleeve henley shirt, hoodie, coat, jeans, a total head/face thing (that’s the technical name), and a beanie. He’s also got some regular layers on underneath, it’s a bit cold here. He was pretty excited about me taking his picture on his way out the door.
So, lets talk about FR Clothes. FR’s are necessary when working somewhere with a risk of flash fires and, apparently, many stages of petroleum or natural gas production present that risk. Think, oil spills + spark = bad combo, its better to be safe than sorry.
An important question to ask before accepting an oil field job: Will your company pay for FRC’s or will you be required to provide them yourself? They can be pretty pricey so it’s good to know if you are responsible for the cost or not.
FR Clothes look like any other work clothes but are quite heavy. They are made of blends of cotton and wool, a few items seem to have a bit of nylon woven in there. But what makes them flame resistant is that they mix in some fancy molecules of a flame retardant substance called THCP. The idea is that a fire will not burn the parts of your body covered in these clothes.
I will get to some details of what you can find here in town below but first, lets see some FR Models:
Ok, these aren’t really FR models… they were unsuspecting men just trying to grab some lunch at the Kum and Go. They were too nice to say no when I asked if I could take their pictures. Thanks guys! Lookin good though, right??
Here in town, I have found, so far, 6 places that sell FR Clothing, and only one store where you can buy a bra. Yes, this is where I have chosen to live.
I spent some time with Jim Bacon at the FR Store on Main Street here in Watford, and right next store at Meyers Department Store with its owner, Beth Veeder. As I’ve found Watfordians so far to be, interesting and friendly. I had a surprisingly pleasant afternoon talking about FR Clothes. If you’ve got any questions, they are your people.
Here is where you can buy FR Clothes in Watford City:
I’m sure there are other places as well, if you know of one please add to my list.
From what I could tell, the clothing options at the FR Store were more on the functional side while Meyers offered some more fashionable options.
Jim told me that the guys who are new here, and are footing the bill for their own clothing, usually go with the coveralls. Neck, to ankles and out to the wrists. Those will have you covered (literally) and will cost you around $80.
If you wanna get a little fancy you can get:
- A Henley (long sleeve with couple buttons below the neck) for $30
- Jeans for $50
- Hoodie for $75
- From there on up there were many selections of shirts and pants
Then there are lots of extras like a hard hat liner, gloves, face covers, beanie, etc.
For the cold weather you can buy some bibs for around $200 and then a heavy winter FR coat for another $200. Seems worth it when the other option is frostbite!
If you are a woman, you might want to do your shopping online beforehand. The FR Store did have several options for women, these two shirts both being $40, but the selections in town as a whole were neither vast nor extensive for the female worker.
I looked around for something I might like but there were zero leggings or long FR sweaters…. so I’ll just stick to the regular cotton kind in case you are wondering. No flash flames around my apartment.
If I missed something or you know something I don’t (happens every once in a while), please add your FR Clothing tips and info in the comments!