Sailor flame tests NWUs — on his dining room table


Disclaimer: don’t try this at home. Which is exactly what one sailor did.

After news reports that the blue-and-gray Navy Working Uniform will burn rapidly and melt in a fire, one person decided to see for himself. On his dining room table.

“I wanted to see if the NWU would really catch fire,” the sailor explained in the caption of his YouTube video, which was posted on Dec. 27. “I held the match in place for about three seconds.”

He set the lower edge of his NWUs alight and filmed the results, a do-it-yourself test that paralleled the findings of the official test, namely that this uniform will “burn robustly until completely consumed,” as the Oct. 15 Navy test reported.

Within 12 seconds, the flame grew to approximately 8-inches and continued to rise as the lower edge crept higher. After 20 seconds the flame stood roughly a foot tall and the lower edge of the garment began smoking. The flame started to spread laterally, threatening to engulf more of the garment. The tester then extinguished the fire, revealing chars that ran the length of the flame. Test complete.

His NWUs were toast.


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  1. People are blowing this out of proportion! We all wear flammable clothes on a daily basis and our chances of those catching fire are just slightly less then on a ship. Don’t people wear FFE’s when fighting a casualty anyways?

  2. John, yes people do wear FFE when fighting a fire, but what if you are directly exposed to an accidental fire (because don’t people set fires on ships on purpose!) and trying to escape, your uniform is going to be burning!

    I don’t think that there are uniforms out there that are flame PROOF, but I think the Navy Uniform Board messed up AGAIN when it comes to uniforms! This should have been the absolute FIRST test they performed when even considering this uniform! Someone tell me the company the Navy paid for these uniforms so we can see what some Admiral has stock invested in… There’s no way this should happen!

  3. Back in the days we use to get issued Fire Resistant clothing (Old Dungaree’s) Even thought they were not Fire Proof they would resist direct flame long enough for us to get out of the space. Now days it seems to be more about the appearance of the uniform on the Sailor then the safety of that Sailor while onboard.

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