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#148924 - 05/15/03 05:39 AM Will Leather Burn?  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,217
SI,New Zealand
Does leather burn?
I must admit, this may sound like a strange question, but, there is a method in my madness. [Linked Image]
In our new Regulations (for Pole-top Live Glove and Barrier work), it states that flammable (or non-self-extinguishing) clothing and equipment SHALL NOT be worn.
I have a toolbelt that is made out of leather and never having set it on fire, wondered if I could ask you guys what is your theory on Leather as a flammable material?.
Trumpy. [Linked Image]

[This message has been edited by Trumpy (edited 05-15-2003).]

Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

Arc Flash PPE Clothing, LOTO & Insulated Tools

#148925 - 05/15/03 07:12 AM Re: Will Leather Burn?  
BPHgravity  Offline
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 139
Port Charlotte, Florida
Everything is flammable at some point. The key is knowing how the product is manufactured, what is is composed of, and if it has been treaty with any chemicals. This should be readily available from the manufacturer of the glove.

Generally, leather is practically ignition proof, and the clothes you are wearing will most likely ignite before the belt does.

Bryan P. Holland, ECO.
Secretary - IAEI Florida Chapter

#148926 - 05/15/03 08:10 AM Re: Will Leather Burn?  
sparky66wv  Offline
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 2,236
West Virginia
Everything, but water...

Residential/Commercial Inspector
5 Star Inspections
Member IAEI

#148927 - 05/15/03 02:05 PM Re: Will Leather Burn?  
Bjarney  Offline
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 2,527
West-Southern Inner-Northeast ...
Trumpy raises a good point that needs some differentiation. Leather may not burn in the conventional sense like synthetic fabrics, but it will probably weaken when exposed to significant heat from, say, an arc blast.

It may seem obvious, but a “tool belt” for the sole purpose of strapping hand tools at your waist would not be evaluated the same as a safety restraint holding one to a pole or ladder. Clearly though, there are “combination” belts that will do both.
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Hugh Hoagland—a safety consultant in the US—has a site with some data on arc-blast performance of occupational gear at In his online movies, it is not hard to imagine that leather under stress would likely “flunk” miserably.

#148928 - 05/19/03 11:02 AM Re: Will Leather Burn?  
JCooper  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 228
Kendall Park, NJ USA
I would say that leather in its natural form is flammable, but due to chemical treatments it is possible to make it inflammable. One thing to keep in mind is that some firefighter PPE is made of leather, boots and helmets, I have never seen a helmet catch fire, and mine has served me well. I am not sure is FDNY still issues leather helmets, they are quite a bit heavier than the new plastic ones but there is more tradation behind the leather. There are also numerous tests that have been done with leather treatments in the automotive and airline industry to do with leather flammability and the vapors it produces when ignited.

#148929 - 05/20/03 10:23 AM Re: Will Leather Burn?  
SvenNYC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,691
New York City
That raises the question: How good an insulator is leather? It's skin....and our skin isn't all that good at insulating us from electric currents.

Wonder if leather is any better because it's thicker...and since it's doesn't sweat...

Aren't some wiremen's gloves made out of leather or are they all rubber?

#148930 - 05/20/03 07:44 PM Re: Will Leather Burn?  
ga.sparky56  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 558
young harris georgia usa
Sven, the gloves I have are leather outside,with rubber liners. They're old,but in good shape.

#148931 - 05/25/03 12:42 AM Re: Will Leather Burn?  
Trumpy  Offline

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,217
SI,New Zealand
I use two types of gloves, depending on what sort of work I'm doing.
Cowhide gloves for general work where splinters or cuts may be a problem.
For Live work, I use 36kV rubber gauntlets and leather overgloves(these also cover the gauntlets).
The last thing you want to do, is damage your rubber gloves.

Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

#148932 - 05/27/03 05:51 PM Re: Will Leather Burn?  
wa2ise  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 782
Oradell NJ USA
Guess I may be well protected in this outfit:

Give the wrong conditions, everything will burn, as NASA found out to everyone's dismay with Apollo 1. Pure oxygen atmosphere at around 17 psi inside that capsule.

#148933 - 05/27/03 05:53 PM Re: Will Leather Burn?  
wa2ise  Offline
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 782
Oradell NJ USA
Guess I may be well protected in this outfit:
[Linked Image]

(I keep forgetting to not use the shift key when looking for "]")

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