Camp Fire Story: Under Armour Clothing is Not Fireproof-Undetermined!
Summary of eRumor:
A Facebook post warns of a girl who was badly burned while wearing Under Armour clothing near a camp fire.
Without key details, there’s no way to prove or disprove a viral Facebook post warning that Under Armour clothing is not fireproof. But there is proof that these type of blended material are more flammable than other types of fabrics.
In the post, a woman claims that her granddaughter was badly burned when an ember from a campfire ignited an Under Armour sweatshirt that the girl was wearing. Names and dates are blotted out, and there’s no way to independently verify the story.
But the wording of the post is somewhat odd. It warns that Under Armour is not fireproof. Under Armour does not market any of its products as fire resistant, so that’s obviously true. It sells a “tactical” line for more extreme conditions, but a disclaimer warns, “This product will melt when exposed to extreme heat or open flames.”
So, it appears that the post is actually trying warning readers that Under Armour material is more flammable than others — not Under Armour is not flammable. And there could be some truth to that. We found a report about a child that was badly burned in 2014 while wearing NIKE Dri-FIT shorts. He was standing a reasonable distance from a campfire at the time. The shorts reportedly ignited and burned “with unthinkable speed and intensity.” The case resulted in a personal injury claim against NIKE.
And the U.S. Marine Corps banned Under Armour clothing in 2006. The Department of Defense reported that, “When exposed to extreme heat and flames, clothing containing some synthetic materials like polyester will melt and can fuse to the skin. This essentially creates a second skin and can lead to horrific, disfiguring burns, said Navy Capt. Lynn E. Welling, the 1st Marine Logistics Group head surgeon.”
The North Central Regional Cooperative Extension Association explains that thin, gauzy fabrics made of fine fibers can easily catch fire “because of the greater amount of fiber surface exposed to oxygen in the air.” Loose-fitting clothes (like shorts) are at higher risk for burning than tighter fitting clothes, too.
In the end, we can’t confirm or debunk claims about the girl burned while wearing an Under Armour sweatshirt near a campfire. We can confirm, however, that these poly-blend materials have posed a burn hazard in the past.