Small fire blankets, such as for use in kitchens and around the home are usually made of glass fiber and sometimes kevlar, and are folded into a quick-release contraption for ease of storage. Larger fire blankets, for use in laboratory and industrial situations, are often made of wool — sometimes treated with a flame retardant chemical such as hexafluorozirconate and zirconium acetate. These blankets are usually mounted in vertical quick-release container so that they can be easily pulled out and wrapped round a person whose clothes are on fire.
Fire blankets, along with fire extinguishers, are fire safety items that can be useful in case of a fire. These nonflammable materials are stable in temperatures up to 1300 °C for Nextel ceramic fibres, 1200 °C for glass fibers, Kevlar (480 °C), and wool (570 °C). These are useful in smothering fires by reducing the amount of oxygen available to the fire. Due to its simplicity, a fire blanket may be more helpful for someone who is inexperienced with fire extinguishers.
A fire blanket is a simple fire safety appliance designed to tackle small contained fires usually found in a kitchen.
A traditional fire blanket is constructed from a sheet of woven fire-resistant material and is stored in a wall mounted container. A standard blanket can withstand temperatures of up to 900 degrees Celsius.
How Does A Fire Blanket Work?
The sheet is used to smother the flames, starve them of oxygen and extinguish the fire before it gets out of control.
Fire blankets are typically installed in kitchens; however, they are also used within educational, residential and industrial settings.
A simple grab and pull of the handles will allow the blanket to fall from the wall container and cover an operator’s hands, protecting them from burns. They can be safely deployed in the event of an emergency without any special training – although a potential user should familiarise themselves with the instructions on the container beforehand.
How To Use A Fire Blanket?
There are different techniques and processes to use depending on the nature of the fire.
- Turn off the heat source if it is safe to do so
- Pull the tapes to release the fire blanket from its box
- Hold the blanket in a shield position and, if possible, wrap the blanket around your hands for protection
- Place the fire blanket over the fire to smother the blaze
- Leave it to cool completely and ensure the fire is fully extinguished, with no chance of it reigniting
If the flames are larger than the blanket itself, do not attempt to put it out yourself. Instead head somewhere safe and call the fire service.
Additional Uses For A Fire Blanket
In addition to extinguishing small liquid and solid fires, a fire blanket can be used with a person whose clothing has ignited.
By placing them on the ground and wrapping them in the blanket, oxygen is excluded, and the flames diminished. Being in a horizontal position also prevents the flames from reaching the victim’s face and hair. This often proves a far safer and practical alternative to using a fire extinguisher.