Views: 1 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2020-07-21 Origin: https://www.qrfs.com/blog
Fire blankets: a great option for containing fires and protecting people from flames—but not for fighting a fire that’s already spreading
Fire blankets work on a simple principle: smother the fire and deprive it of oxygen. To do this effectively, they have to be nonflammable themselves and provide as much of a barrier for heat and oxygen as possible. A modern commercial fire blanket will contain a fiberglass layer to achieve this purpose and the blanket will be designed to keep the fiberglass from coming in contact with skin.
A fire blanket should be mounted on a wall near (but not directly over) the area where it might be needed. For example, NFPA codes and standards stipulate that fire extinguishers be placed within 30 feet of cooking equipment, and it’s proper to place a fire blanket within this range as well. A fire blanket typically comes with a protective cover that clearly identifies it and instructs the user on how to extract the blanket.
Pros of fire blankets
They can be used for personal protection
If a person’s hair or clothing is on fire, wrapping them up in a fire blanket can be an important part of the “stop, drop, and roll” technique which is taught to minimize burns and injury. According to NFPA, blankets are especially useful if the person involved is not physically able to move rapidly due to age, medical condition, or physical limitations.
In a similar situation, discharging a chemical fire extinguisher around a person’s face could cause serious lung irritation, which could compound problems caused by smoke inhalation.
If a fire is out of control and you are surrounded by flames, a fire blanket may also help protect you and those you are helping if you must evacuate near areas exposed to flames.
Fire blankets contain fires in early stages, especially cooking fires
Cooking fires often start with a relatively small amount of grease in a container like a pan or pot. People are often reluctant to discharge a fire extinguisher because of the cleanup effort and expense involved, and Class K fire extinguishers are specifically required “for fires involving combustible cooking media (vegetable or animal oils and fats).” Sometimes, people pour or throw water onto a grease fire, with disastrous effects.
Putting a lid or pan over a fire in a container is the right idea—if done effectively, it will smother the fire. But it can be risky, because you may not have enough protection from the flames as you bring this cover down over them.
Using a fire blanket lowers this risk. FIRST, turn off the source of heat, if possible. A quality fire blanket will have straps to help you wrap your hands up completely to protect them. You must quickly drape the fire blanket over the fire without throwing it or fanning the flames. Once it’s on, leave it in place until you’re certain the fire is out.