To ensure that employees work in a healthy and safe work environment, employers are required to ensure that there is effective emergency preparedness and planning.
Fire Blankets - What are they?
A large fire blanket is one of the most effective, easy, and quick ways for small fires to be suppressed when they occur at work or in the home environment. A fire blanket is what the name suggests, it is made according to safety standards and can withstand common fires at high heat.
The fire blanket is designed to remove the oxygen supply from the fire, subsequently smothering it before it can spread and lead to a larger disaster. They can be used on burning combustible materials, electrical equipment, kitchen fires, cooking oils, and others.
In addition to this function, a fire blanket can also be used by those caught in a fire, giving them protection, and minimizing burns while escaping the room or building.
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How to use a Fire Blanket
Extinguish a Fire
Fire blankets are kept in compact bags that have tabs that must be pulled down to release the blanket.
- Pull the tabs to release the blanket
- Roll the corners over your hands to protect them from the fire
- Gently lay the blanket over the fire.
- Keep the blanket on the fire for at least 15 minutes and the blanket cool before removing it.
If an oven or stove is the source of the fire, make sure that you turn it off completely before trying to extinguish the fire. Refrain from using a fire blanket if the fire is out of control and make sure to alert emergency services immediately.
Grease fires in the Kitchen
Most restaurants have fire blankets in the workplace as a safety measure in case of fires caused by cooking equipment. Woollen fire blankets are typically used when putting out kitchen or grease fires and they must be kept in a convenient location in case of an emergency.
Indoor or Electrical Fires
Poor electrical wiring or overheated and damaged cords can easily lead to electrical fires. Woollen fire blankets are often used to extinguish electrical and domestic fires.
Industry and the workplace
Workplace fire safety measures will always include fire safety equipment. Depending on the type of work being conducted, fire blankets can form part of the overall fire equipment in addition to fire extinguishers, hydrants, and hose reels.
Fibreglass fire blankets are typically used in industries and workplaces because they can withstand high temperatures.
Putting out a clothes fire
To extinguish clothing fires, wrap a fire blanket around the person whose clothes are burning and roll them up in the blanket until they are covered. Have the person completely stop, drop, and roll to effectively extinguish the fire.
How to care for a Fire Blanket
Even though fire blankets do not have an expiry date, they should still receive care and maintenance to keep them in safe working condition if an emergency occurs.
Fire blankets are stored in quick-release containers, and these must be placed in areas where there are fire hazards. Access to the fire blanket must be unobscured and everyone in the area must know how to use them.
After the fire blanket has been used it must be disposed of as it is not reusable. Before discarding a fire blanket, wait until it has cooled completely before throwing it away.
Pros and Cons of Fire Blankets
They do not have an expiration date
They are not effective for large fires
They can be used on humans
Fibreglass blankets can feel prickly because of the sharp fibres, requiring additional personal protective equipment
They are less messy to clean up as opposed to fire extinguishers
You need to get close to the fire which may be dangerous
They cause less damage to appliances and equipment
They are not reusable
They are not corrosive
They are easy and safe to use if the safety steps are followed when using them
All Fire Equipment must be serviced annually with monthly inspections
Follow this link to download your free Fire Equipment Checklist
Visit My Safety Shop for all your fire fighting equipment needs
The comprehensive My Safety Shop you will find a wide range of products, including the following fire blankets:
- Size 01 - 0.9m x 0.9m
- Size 02 - 1.2m x 1.2m
- Size 03 - 1.2m x 1.8m
- Size 04 - 1.8 x 1.8m
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What is a fire blanket?
It is a piece of firefighting equipment used to extinguish a fire in its beginning or initial stage.
Can I use a fire blanket on a person whose clothes are on fire?
Yes, you can.
By wrapping a person in the fire-retardant material, you can prevent extreme and painful injury, fire blankets will prevent oxygen from reacting with the fire and so will extinguish it.
What are fire blankets made of?
Fire blankets are typically made from woven fibreglass material, wool, or cotton in a silicone-based fire-retardant coating.
Where must I keep my fire blanket?
In areas where there is the likelihood of a fire occurring.
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