You’ve probably heard of fire blankets. Maybe you even keep some handy. While we hope that no one ever has to use a fire blanket, they’re an essential safety device to have. If you’re sceptical about how effectively a blanket can be in an emergency, just consider the technology behind them; it’s quite ingenious.
Fire blankets are made from and treated with nonflammable materials such as fibreglass or silicone that push oxygen away, starving the fire of a necessary ingredient. Newer designs use hydrogels that evaporate to put out fires. You can’t do that with just any blanket! These blankets come in storage boxes or tubes, so you’ll have to open them before use.
You may even be surprised by the different uses of fire blankets, including those in the home and workplace. They’re even helpful outside. We wouldn’t be surprised if you rushed out to buy a fire blanket or two after reading how they can be used in multiple situations.
They Save Lives
The most apparent use of a fire blanket is to wrap it around someone on fire to quickly stop the flames. This is especially important if they cannot stop, drop, and roll to protect themself from the fire. Your fire blanket must be within reach, so you can quickly remove it from its container.
The fire blanket needs to cover the entire fire to work well, so they’re best used for fires that have just started. Hold the blanket by its straps and cover your hands with the fire blanket to avoid accidentally burning your arms and hands.
They Can Put Out Electrical Fires
All fires are dangerous, but adding electricity into the mix ups the ante. If you try to put one of these fires out with water, you risk electrocution. Instead, you want to reach directly for baking soda or a fire blanket to put that fire out safely. Remember that a fire extinguisher is the better option if you cannot safely reach the fire with a blanket.
You Can Put Out Grease or Kitchen Fires
You probably know that grease fires are tricky and not easily extinguished. Adding water will make the fire grow. Instead, you want to starve the fire with oxygen, so covering a fiery pan with a lid (or biscuit sheet if you don’t have a lid for the pan) puts it out. Smothering the fire with baking soda or salt can also work if it’s still small.
However, fire blankets can achieve the same effect; pushing the necessary oxygen away from the fire to put it out. Fire extinguishers are another option, but they might use too much pressure and can cause the grease and fire to spill over the side of the pan. You don’t have to worry about cleaning the mess a fire extinguisher leaves in your kitchen if you use a fire blanket instead.
Remember to turn off the heat first and let the pan cool entirely after putting out the fire. Otherwise, you risk the fire starting again.
They’re Ideal for Outdoor Fires
Another practical use of fire blankets is for outdoor fires, especially campfires that can spread quickly if you don’t have (enough) water or a fire extinguisher within reach. Some people place grills and fire pits on top of fire blankets to prevent stray embers from starting a fire. Another possible use of fire blankets is to ensure a fire is entirely out when leaving a campsite.
Of course, a fire blanket shouldn’t be your only line of defence against these outdoor fires, but you won’t regret keeping one in your camping gear or even trunk to battle small fires. Multi-use fireproof cloaks ensure you don’t take up extra room in your pack. Plus, you can protect yourself from the ground by sitting on fire blankets around the campfire to safely enjoy s’mores without worry.
Protects Children and Infants
You can wrap children in a fire blanket to protect them as you leave a burning home or building. These blankets wrap snuggly and weigh less than they used to, which helps make this process a little easier. You could even wrap up some pets or drape a fire blanket over a small cage to safely remove it from your home.
Keeping a fire blanket where children (or pets) sleep for this reason specifically. Covering sleeping children with fire-resistant blankets is even more convenient, but you must be careful that the blanket doesn’t cover their faces.
Keeping People Safe
Fire blankets can protect those people you love and your investments. They save lives, reduce serious injuries, and prevent damage to material possessions, so keeping one in any area with a fire risk or where people sleep is wise. Any adult or child that uses a fire blanket should know how to use it properly. Cover the fire entirely and leave the blanket in place without touching it for at least an hour afterwards. It’s always wise to leave the building and call in the professionals to ensure the fire is fully out. Finally, ensure to replace any fire blanket you use or expired blankets; many makers recommend doing so every seven years.
For more information about protecting your home, family, or business from fire and other risks, contact us today.