If you are shopping for any kind of racing safety equipment, chances are you've seen something called SFI ratings. We know they can be confusing, so hopefully this will help shed some light on what they actually mean.
Racechick is an active member in the SFI Foundation Program. We are in good standing and receive all our Certifications and Certified Labels directly from SFI. All of our suits meet or exceed SFI Foundation® minimum requirements.
The SFI Foundation® is a nonprofit organization established to issue standards for the performance and racing industry throughout the United States and the world. SFI tests a long list of products including gloves, driver suits, neck braces, restraint systems, shoes, underwear and window nets.
The SFI specification 3.2A for driver uniforms rates how long a driving suit will offer protection from a second degree burn in an approximation of a fully involved gasoline fire between 1800 and 2100 degrees.
SFI Foundation ratings are measured in calories per unit area per time of exposure. In the chart below shows how you can figure a uniform's approximate protection time until second degree burns by dividing the Thermal Protection Performance (TPP) number by 2.
Over the years, racers have abbreviated the SFI 3.2A rating by only using the last number in the specification. For example, SFI 3.2A/5 is shortened to SFI-5.
It's always a good idea to check with your track and sanctioning body for their race suit requirements. Please note that these are typically minimum requirements but it's never a bad idea to exceed them. More safety = more better.
Suits that do not include a genuine SFI® Certified patch may not provide adequate protection.
If you are ever involved in a fire or obtain holes in your suit, it's time to discard your suit and get a new one. Even the smallest singe is a weak spot in the material and can cause a problem if exposed to fire. Proper maintenance of a driver suit will help extend its useful life and provide you with years of protection. We recommend using the Molecule line of detergents when laundering as it is safe for performance fabrics and won't impact the flame resistance.
Minimum Testing Requirements for SFI 3.2A Suits from SFI Foundation