What is a fire blanket?
Usually made out of glass wool, fire blankets act as simple fire extinguishing devices. Because of the highly flame-resistant material, fire blankets are used for both extinguishing small fires and for protecting people against it by simply wrapping the blanket around them. Fire blankets are mainly used in kitchens or other catering environments to put out small fires caused by oil/pans, barbeque parties or small bin paper fires that can occur in offices.
How do they work?
Their inner structure is composed of two layers of woven glass fibre and another layer of fire retardant film. The fire blankets work by blocking any source of oxygen (which is, as it is known, a prerequisite for a fire to burn) and smothering the fire. Stored in a small box, they extend to their full size once they are released and further placed over the fire to extinguish the flames.
Where should I store them?
They should be stored in an accessible area, where they could be easily reached for and used in case of an emergency. They are usually placed in kitchens or garages, as those are the most prevalent areas where a fire can start. If you are worried about a good spot in your kitchen for your fire blanket, you could ideally place them inside of a cupboard, close to the cooking area.
If you are managing an office, then you need to ensure that the fire blanket is placed in an area where everyone knows about it. You should also make sure that people know how to remove it from its packaging in the event of a fire emergency.
How do they work?
Knowing how to quickly handle a fire emergency situation can reduce the risks of further damage caused. Regardless if you are at work or at home, you need to be prepared to take action.
A couple of tips that we recommend as best practice are:
- Make sure you have turned off any source of gas or electricity, only if you are safe doing so.
- Grab the fire blanket box and pull the tapes to remove it. You will then have to hold it by its fabric straps.
- Avoid getting any burns and protect your hands and arms by wrapping the edges of the fire blanket around your hands.
- Make sure any other clothing does not get in the way (such as sleeves). They could catch fire.
- You have to extinguish the fire by cutting any source of oxygen. Place the fire blanket over the entire area where the flames are burning.
- If the fire is larger than the fire blanket, by no means attempt to put it out. You need to get out of that area and call for help.
- You must not touch the fire blanket or any area underneath it for at least 60 minutes after the fire has been put out.
- As fire blankets can also be used for extra protection when exiting burning buildings, you need to wrap it around yourself in order to create a barrier between you and the flames.
Can I use fire blankets again?
Look out for the outer sleeve. If it is damaged, you shouldn’t use the fire blanket. Make sure that you replace it as soon as possible to remain protected.
What do you need to know in case of a kitchen fire accident where oil or pan fires are involved.
Just remember, in case the fire is too large to tackle, you should call emergency services as soon as possible.
- It is recommended that you turn off any source of heat as long as it is safe.
- Do not try removing the pan as this is going to spread the fire.
- Protect your hands by wrapping the fire blanket around your hands and arms.
- Smother the fire by placing the fire blanket on the area that is burning.
- Do not take the fire blanket off the pan- you need to leave it to cool completely.
What you need to know in case of fires involving personal clothing.
1. Release the fire blanket from its container.
2. Protect your hands and arms by wrapping the edges of the fire blanket around hands.
3. Try wrapping the blanket around the person in order to smother the fire.
4. Call for emergency services right away, as burns need to be treated by medical professionals as quickly as possible
We hope that this guide gave you a good overview of how to use fire blankets in different scenarios. You could head over to our fire blankets page for more details on prices and sizes available.