Fire extinguishers are great in fire safety, but they do have their limits. If you use the wrong one, then it can make a bad situation worse! A fire blanket is a worthy addition to any home or business. It allows you to quickly and effectively bring a small fire under control. Today, we will offer 8 tips for using a fire blanket to reduce fire risks.
1. Understand How Fire Blankets Work
To use something effectively, it is often a good idea to know how it works.
Have you ever heard of the fire triangle? It goes like this. Fire needs 3 things to start and flourish:
- A fuel source
- A heat source
- A source of air
If you remove any of these three elements, a fire will be extinguished. In the case of fire blankets, they remove the last element.
The material of a fire blanket is dense and fireproof. It effectively smothers and contains the fire in a matter of seconds.
2. Know When to Use a Fire Blanket
Want to know the good thing about fire blankets? They are really versatile and can be used to put out fires caused by different materials.
Here are some great examples:
Often people’s knee-jerk response to fire is to pour water on it. In the case of a grease fire, that is a very bad idea and can cause a flare-up and spread the fire further. Fire blankets can easily be placed over things like hot pans in kitchens and immediately extinguish flames! They don’t take up much room either, so ideal for use in smaller kitchens.
Again this is another fire that should not be combatted with water. Unless you intend to invest in a specific fire extinguisher, a fire blanket could be a good option.
Fire blankets are insulating too, avoiding the risk of electrical shocks.
Any area that features hot metals or chemicals could benefit from a fire blanket. They can withstand high temperatures and work effectively as a shield to get close to the fire before deploying them.
If someone’s clothes have ignited, this can induce panic! Fire extinguishers, while very effective, can contain chemicals that are not good for human health and aren’t the best choice to extinguish a fire on someone’s person.
A fire blanket can quickly be deployed to stop any flames on clothing.
3. Know the Limits of Your Fire Blanket
Fire blankets do stop fires, but they don’t stop smoke. Even if you have successfully contained fire, you may still want to evacuate and call in the professionals. Smoke is just as lethal, if not more deadly, than flames.
Also, when we talk about fire blanket limits, pick a size to suit the environment in which you expect it to be used. Deploying a fire blanket only to discover it is too small is counterproductive to your firefighting efforts.
4. Know-How to Use a Fire Blanket
Using a fire blanket isn’t simply a case of throwing it at a fire. There is a technique.
Here are some top tips to using one:
- Protect your arms and hands – Use the fire blanket to cover any exposed areas as you approach the fire. Fire blankets are insulated so they will protect you from heat.
- Place, don’t throw – Fire blankets need to be laid over a fire. If you are too zealous or fast, you may risk spreading the fire further. This is especially true in kitchen settings where red hot oil can spill!
- Spread your fire blanket before use – Once your fire blanket is out of its protective cover, you want to unfold it to its maximum before using.
- Be careful of the sides – Flames can lick up the side of the fire blanket, burning your hands. It pays to be aware of this risk in advance.
5. Check Serviceability of Your Fire Blanket
Particularly in business and commercial premises, fire blankets do have a given shelf life. They must be inspected to check that they are in good condition. The best way to do this is to consult a professional fire protection service.
6. Don’t Reuse Fire Blankets
Fire blankets are not designed to be reusable. It is a one-shot only kind of deal. The good news is that if you pick a quality supplier, they are pretty cost-effective, and with any luck, you’ll never need to use them more than once.
7. But… Allow It to Cool!
Even if you are aware that you have to dispose of fire blankets after use, this is a tip that many people miss. Fire blankets get seriously hot when used in anger. People associate the lack of flames with loss of heat, and this may not be the case. Leave your fire blanket to cool for at least 30 minutes after you have extinguished a fire.
8. Have a Backup!
Ever heard the term “Belt and Braces”? It is always good to have a backup. That way, you can remove more sections of the fire triangle. Fire extinguishers are effective in removing the heat from a fire. Often if you lift a fire blanket too soon, the air is reintroduced, and a fire can start again. Make doubly sure by backing your fire blanket up with an extinguisher. But be careful to utilize the right type of extinguisher to avoid making a fire worse.
There are plenty of ways to suppress a fire. A good fire blanket is one of them. Our tips should help you gain the most out of it if the unthinkable happens. Fraker Fire can offer expert guidance on other fire-related topics. They can also inspect businesses and advise on the most effective means to stop and control fire.