- Fire blankets are fire safety devices that can smother small fires, block flames and heat, and protect people from burns.
- Fire blankets are made of nonflammable materials, such as fiberglass, wool, or cotton, that can withstand high temperatures.
- Fire blankets are suitable for extinguishing fires involving cooking oils, fats, grease, or electrical equipment, which are common in commercial kitchens.
- Fire blankets come in different sizes and types, depending on the intended use and fire risk. The most common sizes are 1.1 x 1.1 m, 1.2 x 1.2 m, and 1.8 x 1.2 m.
- Fire blankets should be installed near potential fire sources, such as stoves, fryers, or grills, and easily accessible in case of emergency.
- Fire blankets should be used correctly by covering the fire completely and leaving it in place until it cools down. They should also be inspected regularly and replaced if damaged or contaminated.
Fire blankets are essential fire safety tools for any commercial kitchen. They can help prevent fires from spreading, reduce property damage, and save lives. In this article, we will explain what fire blankets are, how they work, what types and sizes are available, and how to use and maintain them properly.
What are fire blankets and how do they work?
A fire blanket is a large piece of fabric made of a material that will not burn when exposed to fire. Many blankets used for industrial applications consist of two layers of fiberglass fabric, with a flame-retardant barrier layer in between. Some blankets may also have a silicone coating to make them more resistant to oil and grease.
A fire blanket works by smothering the fire and cutting off its oxygen supply. This stops the combustion process and extinguishes the flames. A fire blanket can also be used to wrap around a person who is on fire or to shield oneself from heat and flames when escaping a burning building.
A fire blanket is different from a fire extinguisher, which uses chemicals to suppress the fire. A fire blanket has several advantages over a fire extinguisher:
- It is simpler to use and does not require any training or maintenance.
- It does not create any mess or residue that may contaminate the food or equipment.
- It does not pose any health or environmental risks from the chemicals.
- It can be reused if it is not damaged or contaminated.
However, a fire blanket also has some limitations:
- It can only be used for small fires that can be covered completely by the blanket.
- It may not be effective for fires involving flammable liquids or gases that can leak or spill under the blanket.
- It may not be able to withstand very high temperatures for a long time.
Therefore, a fire blanket should not be used as a substitute for a fire extinguisher, but as a complementary device that can be used in conjunction with other fire safety measures.
What types and sizes of fire blankets are available?
Fire blankets come in different types and sizes, depending on the intended use and fire risk. The type of fire blanket refers to the material and design of the blanket, while the size refers to the dimensions of the blanket.
The type of fire blanket determines its performance and suitability for different kinds of fires. The most common types of fire blankets are:
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass blankets are made of woven glass fibers that can resist temperatures up to 1200°C. They are ideal for fires involving cooking oils, fats, grease, or electrical equipment, which are common in commercial kitchens. They are also durable and easy to clean.
- Wool: Wool blankets are made of natural wool fibers that have been treated with a flame retardant. They can resist temperatures up to 570°C. They are suitable for general types of fires involving solid materials, such as wood or paper. They are also thicker and denser than fiberglass blankets, which makes them more effective at blocking heat and flames.
- Cotton: Cotton blankets are made of natural cotton fibers that have been treated with a non-toxic fire inhibitor. They can resist temperatures up to 500°C. They are suitable for fires involving solid materials or low-intensity flames. They are also softer and more comfortable than fiberglass or wool blankets, which makes them more suitable for wrapping around people.
The size of the fire blanket determines its coverage area and ease of use. The size of the fire blanket should match the size of the potential fire source and the space available for installation. The most common sizes of fire blankets are:
- 1.1 x 1.1 m: This is the smallest size of fire blanket available. It is suitable for covering small fires involving candles, matches, lighters, or cigarettes. It is also easy to store and carry around.
- 1.2 x 1.2 m: This is the standard size of fire blanket for domestic use. It is suitable for covering small to medium fires involving cooking pans, pots, or appliances. It is also easy to install and use in most kitchens.
- 1.8 x 1.2 m: This is the largest size of fire blanket for domestic use. It is suitable for covering medium to large fires involving deep fryers, grills, or ovens. It is also more effective at blocking heat and flames than smaller sizes.
How to use and maintain fire blankets properly?
Fire blankets should be used correctly and maintained properly to ensure their effectiveness and safety. Here are some tips on how to use and maintain fire blankets:
- Install fire blankets near potential fire sources, such as stoves, fryers, or grills, and make sure they are easily accessible in case of emergency.
- Follow the instructions on the packaging or label of the fire blanket before using it. Some fire blankets may have specific directions or warnings that need to be followed.
- To use a fire blanket, pull the tabs or straps to release it from its container, then hold it by the corners and approach the fire carefully. Cover the fire completely with the blanket and leave it in place until it cools down. Do not lift or move the blanket while the fire is still burning.
- To use a fire blanket to wrap around a person who is on fire, lay the blanket on the ground and roll the person onto it. Cover the person completely with the blanket and pat down any flames that may escape. Call for emergency help as soon as possible.
- To use a fire blanket to shield oneself from heat and flames when escaping a burning building, wrap the blanket around your head and body and hold it tightly. Crawl or walk towards the nearest exit and avoid any open flames or smoke.
- After using a fire blanket, inspect it for any damage or contamination. If the blanket is intact and clean, you can fold it and store it back in its container for future use. If the blanket is torn, burned, or dirty, you should dispose of it safely and replace it with a new one.
- Check your fire blankets regularly for any signs of wear and tear, such as holes, fraying, or fading. Replace any fire blankets that are damaged or expired. Most fire blankets have a shelf life of 5 to 10 years, depending on the type and quality of the material.
Fire blankets are valuable fire safety devices that can help prevent and control fires in commercial kitchens. By choosing the right type and size of fire blanket for your needs, installing them properly, and using them correctly, you can protect your business from fire hazards and ensure a safe working environment.