Fire blankets are simple yet effective tools that can help emergency responders deal with various fire situations. They are made of fire-resistant materials that can smother flames, reduce heat, and prevent oxygen from reaching the fire source. They can also be used to protect people from burns, smoke inhalation, and fire-related injuries.
Fire blankets come in different sizes, shapes, and materials, depending on their intended use and application. In this article, we will explore the different types of fire blankets and how they can be used by emergency responders in different scenarios.
- Fire blankets are fire-resistant fabrics that can be used to extinguish or contain small fires, or to protect people from fire hazards.
- Fire blankets can be classified into four main types: kitchen, industrial, personal, and emergency.
- Kitchen fire blankets are designed to handle grease or oil fires that commonly occur in cooking areas. They are usually made of fiberglass or wool and have a flame-retardant coating.
- Industrial fire blankets are designed to address the unique fire risks present in industrial environments. They are usually made of heavy-duty materials such as aramid, carbon fiber, or silica. They can withstand high temperatures and resist chemicals, sparks, and molten metal.
- Personal fire blankets are designed to provide protection for individuals who are exposed to fire or heat. They are usually made of lightweight materials such as cotton or polyester and have a non-toxic fire inhibitor. They can be used to wrap around the body, cover the head, or smother clothing fires.
- Emergency fire blankets are designed to provide versatile and portable fire protection for emergency responders. They are usually made of durable materials such as fiberglass or aramid and have a reflective or aluminized coating. They can be used to create a fire barrier, rescue victims, or shield them from radiant heat.
Types of Fire Blankets
|Kitchen||Fiberglass or wool with flame-retardant coating||Extinguish grease or oil fires in cooking areas||Inf-way Fire Blanket|
|Industrial||Aramid, carbon fiber, or silica||Resist high temperatures and chemicals in industrial settings||Newtex Zetex Fire Blanket|
|Personal||Cotton or polyester with non-toxic fire inhibitor||Protect individuals from fire or heat hazards||Fire Protection Shop Soft Case Fire Blanket|
|Emergency||Fiberglass or aramid with reflective or aluminized coating||Provide versatile and portable fire protection for emergency responders||First Alert Fire Blanket|
How to Use Fire Blankets
The general steps for using a fire blanket are as follows:
- Remove the fire blanket from its package and hold it by the corners.
- Approach the fire carefully and avoid inhaling smoke or fumes.
- Place the fire blanket over the fire source and cover it completely.
- Turn off the heat source if possible and leave the fire blanket in place until the fire is out.
- Call for professional help if needed and dispose of the fire blanket properly.
Depending on the type of fire blanket and the situation, there may be some variations or additional steps to follow. For example:
- To use a kitchen fire blanket on a grease or oil fire, do not use water or wet the blanket before placing it over the fire. This may cause a steam explosion that can spread the flames or cause burns.
- To use an industrial fire blanket on a chemical or electrical fire, make sure the blanket is dry and free of any flammable substances. Do not touch any live wires or exposed metal parts with the blanket.
- To use a personal fire blanket on a clothing fire, wrap the blanket around the person and roll it on the ground to smother the flames. Check for any injuries and seek medical attention if needed.
- To use an emergency fire blanket on a large or complex fire, create a barrier between the fire and yourself by holding the blanket in front of you. Use the reflective or aluminized side to deflect heat and radiation. If possible, use multiple blankets to cover a larger area or create a tunnel for escape.
Benefits of Fire Blankets
Fire blankets offer several benefits for emergency responders, such as:
- They are easy to use and require no training or maintenance.
- They are effective against different types of fires, including Class A (ordinary combustibles), Class B (flammable liquids), Class C (electrical equipment), and Class F (cooking oils).
- They are safer than water or foam extinguishers, as they do not cause electrical shocks, chemical reactions, or steam explosions.
- They are cleaner than powder or CO2 extinguishers, as they do not leave any residue or damage to the environment or property.
- They are cheaper and more durable than fire extinguishers, as they can be reused or recycled after use.
Limitations of Fire Blankets
Fire blankets also have some limitations that emergency responders should be aware of, such as:
- They are not effective against large or deep-seated fires, such as Class D (metallic) or Class K (cooking appliances) fires.
- They are not suitable for fires involving pressurized gases, such as propane or acetylene, as they may cause an explosion or rupture.
- They may not provide enough protection from smoke, toxic fumes, or oxygen depletion, which can cause suffocation or poisoning.
- They may cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, or respiratory problems, especially if they are made of fiberglass or synthetic materials.
- They may lose their fire resistance or effectiveness over time, especially if they are exposed to sunlight, moisture, or heat.
Fire blankets are valuable tools that can help emergency responders deal with various fire situations. They can smother flames, reduce heat, and prevent oxygen from reaching the fire source. They can also protect people from burns, smoke inhalation, and fire-related injuries.
Fire blankets come in different sizes, shapes, and materials, depending on their intended use and application. Emergency responders should choose the right type of fire blanket for their needs and follow the proper steps for using it. They should also be aware of the benefits and limitations of fire blankets and use them in conjunction with other fire-fighting equipment and techniques.