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How a Fire Blanket Works: Understanding the Basics

how a fire blanket works

If you’ve ever wondered how a fire blanket works, you’re in the right place. Fire safety should always be taken seriously, both in the home and at work! 

At Glenco, we don’t mess around with fire safety, we believe fire safety is an ongoing process that needs to be updated and maintained. In this article, we explain how a fire blanket works and when and how to use one. 

What is a fire blanket?

fire blanket provides effective protection from small scale fires. These blankets are made from highly flame-retardant materials that essentially suffocate the fire. They can be used on small location fires or to wrap around someone who has caught fire. They cannot be used on out-of-control fires that have begun to spread. 

Fire blankets are often used in kitchens as they can put out fires started by cooking fats, which a fire extinguisher cannot. They are small and wrap up to a portable size meaning they can be used in different locations or stored away neatly. A fire blanket is a good tool to have in your home or workplace just in case you have a fire emergency. 

How a fire blanket works

Fires need oxygen to continue burning. If you can cut off that oxygen supply the fire dies. A fire blanket allows you to do this. Fire blankets should only be used on fires that are smaller than the size of the blanket. Once a fire blanket has been used you should not touch it for at least an hour after the flames are extinguished. Once it is safe to remove the blanket, it should be discarded and replaced with a new one.  

How to use a fire blanket

Knowing how a fire blanket works is not enough – you need to know when and how to use it

Let’s look in more detail:

Class of fire

Fires are classified into six different groups (A, B, C, D, E, F) depending on the materials that are burning. Fire blankets can only be used on: 

  • Class A: fires containing combustible materials such as wood, plastic, paper and cloth. 
  • Class B: fires involving flammable liquids such as grease, oil, paint, fat, petrol and varnish.
  • Class F: fires involving flammable liquids such as deep fat fryers. 

Putting out a fire

Once you have established that the fire is either class A, B or F you can use your fire blanket:

  1. Turn off any power supply that may be fuelling the fire (e.g. a stovetop).
  2. Remove the fire blanket from its packet by pulling down firmly on the pull tabs. 
  3. Roll up your sleeves and wrap the top edges of the blanket around your hands to ensure they are protected. 
  4. Carefully cover the entire fire with the blanket.
  5. If the blanket is unsuccessful, you must call the fire brigade immediately. 

Using the blanket on a person

Fire blankets can be used on a person who has caught fire:

  1. Remove the fire blanket from its packet by pulling down firmly on the pull tabs. 
  2. Roll up your sleeves and wrap the top edges of the blanket around your hands to ensure they are protected. 
  3. Carefully wrap the blanket around the person, you should roll it around the person until the fire is fully covered. 
  4. Instruct the person to stop, drop and roll. This means the person should drop to the ground and roll over and over in the blanket until the fire is extinguished. 
  5. Call emergency services to seek medical treatment. 

Glenco has all your fire safety needs covered

We hope you now have a better understanding of how a fire blanket works. If you’d like to set up your home or workplace with fire safety measures give us a call. We use compliant fire safety precautions to keep you, your family and your workmates safe.

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