Fire blankets are simple yet effective devices that can help you extinguish small fires and protect yourself from flames. However, to ensure that your fire blanket works properly when you need it, you need to store and maintain it correctly. In this article, we will share some tips on how to store and maintain your fire blanket, as well as when to replace it.
- Fire blankets should be stored in a wall-mounted case or pouch in an easily accessible location, preferably near the potential fire hazard.
- Fire blankets should be inspected regularly for any signs of damage, wear, or contamination. If the fire blanket is damaged or used, it should be replaced immediately.
- Fire blankets should be cleaned only with mild soap and water, and dried thoroughly before storing. Do not use bleach, solvents, or abrasive cleaners on your fire blanket.
- Fire blankets have a limited lifespan and should be replaced every 7 years from the date of purchase, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
How to Store Your Fire Blanket
The way you store your fire blanket can affect its performance and durability. Here are some best practices for storing your fire blanket:
- Store your fire blanket in a wall-mounted case or pouch that allows for quick and easy access. The case or pouch should be red in color and marked with the appropriate fire blanket signage.
- Store your fire blanket in a location that is close to the potential fire hazard, but not too close that the fire might prevent you from reaching it. For example, if you have a fire blanket for kitchen fires, you should store it near the stove or oven, but not above or behind them.
- Store your fire blanket in a location that is visible and easily identifiable. Do not store your fire blanket in a concealed position behind furniture, doors, cupboards, drawers, or deep recesses.
- Store your fire blanket in a location that is free from moisture, dust, dirt, grease, oil, chemicals, or other contaminants that might damage the fire-resistant material.
- Store your fire blanket in a location that is away from direct sunlight, heat sources, or sharp objects that might cause fading, deterioration, or punctures.
How to Maintain Your Fire Blanket
Maintaining your fire blanket is essential for ensuring its effectiveness and safety. Here are some tips on how to maintain your fire blanket:
- Inspect your fire blanket regularly for any signs of damage, wear, or contamination. Look for any holes, tears, cuts, frays, stains, discoloration, or odors on the fire blanket and its case or pouch. If you notice any of these signs, replace your fire blanket immediately.
- Clean your fire blanket only when necessary with mild soap and water. Do not use bleach, solvents, or abrasive cleaners on your fire blanket as they might damage the fire-resistant material. Rinse the fire blanket thoroughly with clean water and dry it completely before storing it again.
- Replace your fire blanket according to the manufacturer’s instructions or every 7 years from the date of purchase. Even if your fire blanket looks fine, it might have lost some of its fire-resistant properties over time due to exposure to environmental factors. Check the label on your fire blanket for the expiration date and follow it strictly.
- Dispose of your used or expired fire blanket safely and responsibly. Do not reuse or recycle your fire blanket as it might pose a fire hazard. Contact your local waste management authority for guidance on how to dispose of your fire blanket properly.
How to Use Your Fire Blanket
Knowing how to use your fire blanket correctly can make a difference between life and death in a fire emergency. Here are some steps on how to use your fire blanket:
- Identify the type and size of the fire. Make sure that the fire is small enough to be covered by the fire blanket and that it is safe to approach it. If the fire is too large or out of control, evacuate the premises and call 911 immediately.
- Pull the tabs on the case or pouch to release the fire blanket. Hold the corners of the fire blanket with both hands and wrap them around your hands to protect them from the heat and flames.
- Approach the fire carefully and gently lay the fire blanket over the entire area of the fire. Make sure that there are no gaps or openings between the fire blanket and the surface of the fire.
- Leave the fire blanket in place until the fire is completely extinguished and cooled down. Do not lift or remove the fire blanket until you are sure that there are no more flames or embers underneath.
- If possible, turn off the heat source that caused the fire. For example, if you used a fire blanket to put out a grease fire on the stove, turn off the burner, and unplug the appliance.
- If the fire blanket catches fire, drop it immediately and move away from the fire. Do not attempt to put out the fire with water or any other substance as it might cause the fire to spread or explode.
- If a person’s clothing catches fire, wrap them in a fire blanket and make them stop, drop, and roll. Call 911 and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Fire blankets are a must-have safety tool for every home and workplace. They can help you put out small fires and protect yourself from flames. However, to ensure that your fire blanket works properly when you need it, you need to store and maintain it correctly. Follow the tips in this article to keep your fire blanket in good condition and ready for use. Remember, fire prevention is always better than fire fighting, so always practice fire safety and avoid potential fire hazards.