What Is a Fire Blanket and How Do You Use It?

Encountering a fire can be an alarming situation, whether at home or in the workplace. This is because fires can cause significant damage to the body and property and even lead to fatalities. The UK government has mandatory fire safety guidelines that should be followed at home and in the workplace to keep people and property safe. However, most people tend to focus more on fire extinguishers, alarms, and hoses.

While these are quite important, there are also fire blankets which can be used before the fire gets out of control. This way, you can eliminate the chances of injury and the need for bigger measures such as using an extinguisher or calling the authorities.

What Is a Fire Blanket?

A fire blanket is a flexible sheet designed to extinguish small fires. The blankets are usually made of fire-resistant materials, typically fibreglass or a combination of fibreglass and Kevlar. These materials can withstand high temperatures without burning.

Fire blankets come in various shapes and sizes, and you can get them from a supplier such as RS. They are suitable for both workplaces and home kitchens.

How Does a Fire Blanket Work?

For a fire to start or continue flaming, it needs three things: heat, fuel, and oxygen. Take away any of these, and the fire will be extinguished.

A fire blanket helps put out fires by eliminating oxygen. When you use it to cover a fire, you cut off the oxygen supply. This means that you will need to cover the fire completely and prevent oxygen from reaching it. The available oxygen within the blanket will burn off quickly, and no more oxygen will enter. And since the blanket is made of fire-resistant material, it will not catch fire.

How to Use a Fire Blanket Correctly

Knowing how to use a fire blanket correctly is essential in ensuring effectiveness.

Assess the Situation

It’s important to keep in mind that fire blankets are only meant for small fires, such as those that start in the kitchen. This means that you first need to assess the situation. What kind of fire is it, and how big is it? If it’s large or is spreading quickly, don’t attempt to use a fire blanket. Instead, use a fire extinguisher or evacuate immediately.

Turn Off the Gas or Electricity

If the assessment you’ve done shows that you can turn off the gas or electricity without putting yourself at risk, you need to do so. If not, you can turn it off immediately after putting out the fire.

Remove the Blanket from Its Container

Fire blankets are usually stored in red containers or packages mounted on the wall. To release the fire blanket, pull its two protruding ends at the same time. Use both hands to make the release and usage faster.

Protect Your Hands

Before covering the fire, you need to ensure that your hands are safe. For this, you can use fire-resistant gloves if you have them. Otherwise, you can just wrap the edges of the fire blanket around your hands. 

Approach the Fire Carefully

The fire can hurt you when approaching, as there are often flare-ups. This means that you need to approach it from an angle that doesn’t put you in danger. All the while, ensure that the blanket is between you and the fire.

Cover the Fire Completely

Now, cover the fire gently with the blanket, ensuring that you don’t leave any part of it outside. Note that you’ll also need to tighten the blanket to prevent oxygen from entering. Stay calm throughout the whole process to ensure you do it correctly.

Leave the Blanket in Place

After extinguishing the fire, leave the blanket in place for a while. If you remove it too soon, oxygen can reignite the fire and undo your efforts. If you haven’t turned off the fire source, it’s time to.Note that fire blankets are only meant to be used once, so ensure you replace the one you used to avoid future fire accidents. Don’t attempt to return it to the container.

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