A fire blanket is a sheet of woven fire-resistant material that can be used to smother small fires and prevent them from spreading. Fire blankets are usually made of fibreglass or other synthetic materials that can withstand high temperatures. They are often stored in wall-mounted containers or pouches for easy access in case of a fire emergency.
Fire blankets are commonly used in kitchens, where they can be effective for extinguishing Class F fires involving cooking oils and fats. They can also be used for waste bin fires, clothing fires, and electrical fires. Fire blankets are suitable for use in homes, workplaces, schools, caravans, and other settings where small fires may occur.
But how long does a fire blanket last? And when should you replace it? In this article, we will answer these questions and explain why it is important to maintain your fire blanket properly.
- Fire blankets can last for several years if they are well-maintained and not damaged or used.
- Fire blankets should be replaced every 7 years from the date of purchase, or according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Fire blankets should also be replaced immediately if they are damaged, worn, dirty, or used to put out a fire.
- Fire blankets should be visually inspected regularly and serviced annually by a qualified person.
- Fire blankets should be disposed of carefully as hazardous waste, as they may contain harmful substances.
How Long Does a Fire Blanket Last?
There is no definitive answer to how long a fire blanket can last, as it depends on various factors such as the quality of the material, the frequency of use, the storage conditions, and the maintenance practices. However, a general rule of thumb is to replace a fire blanket every 7 years from the date of purchase, or according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
This is because fire blankets may degrade over time due to exposure to heat, moisture, dust, sunlight, or chemicals. They may also lose their fire-resistant properties or become contaminated with flammable substances. Therefore, it is important to check the expiry date of your fire blanket and follow the instructions on how to store and care for it.
However, even if your fire blanket has not reached its expiry date, you should replace it immediately if it shows any signs of damage, wear, tear, or dirt. This includes holes, cuts, fraying, fading, stains, mould, or odours. These signs indicate that your fire blanket may not be able to perform effectively in case of a fire and may pose a risk of injury or infection.
You should also replace your fire blanket after using it to put out a fire. This is because the fire blanket may have absorbed some of the heat, smoke, or fuel from the fire and may not be able to withstand another fire. Moreover, reusing a fire blanket may cause the fire to reignite or spread if there are still hot spots or embers underneath the blanket.
How to Maintain Your Fire Blanket
To ensure that your fire blanket lasts as long as possible and works properly when needed, you should follow these maintenance tips:
- Store your fire blanket in a cool, dry, and clean place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
- Keep your fire blanket in its original container or pouch and make sure it is easily accessible and visible.
- Do not fold or crease your fire blanket as this may damage the fibres or coating.
- Do not wash or clean your fire blanket with water or detergents as this may affect its fire resistance.
- Do not expose your fire blanket to chemicals or solvents as this may corrode or weaken the material.
- Do not use your fire blanket for any other purpose than extinguishing fires.
- Perform regular visual inspections of your fire blanket to check for any signs of damage or deterioration.
- Have your fire blanket serviced annually by a qualified person who can test its performance and replace it if necessary.
How to Dispose of Your Fire Blanket
When you need to dispose of your old or used fire blanket, you should do so carefully and responsibly as it may contain hazardous substances such as fibreglass or asbestos. You should not throw your fire blanket in the regular trash bin as this may pose a risk of injury or environmental damage.
Instead, you should follow these disposal steps:
- Fold your fire blanket back into its original packaging if possible. If not, wrap it in newspaper or plastic bags.
- Label your fire blanket as hazardous waste and indicate what it contains (e.g., fibreglass).
- Contact your local hazardous waste disposal service or facility and ask them how to dispose of your fire blanket safely.
- Follow their instructions and regulations on how to transport and handle your fire blanket.
- Do not attempt to burn or bury your fire blanket as this may release toxic fumes or particles.
A fire blanket is a useful and simple device that can help you put out small fires and prevent them from spreading. However, you should not rely on your fire blanket alone and always call the emergency services if a fire occurs. You should also make sure that your fire blanket is in good condition and ready to use at any time.
To do this, you should replace your fire blanket every 7 years from the date of purchase, or according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. You should also replace your fire blanket immediately if it is damaged, worn, dirty, or used to put out a fire. You should maintain your fire blanket properly by storing it correctly, inspecting it regularly, and servicing it annually. You should dispose of your fire blanket carefully as hazardous waste and follow the appropriate procedures.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your fire blanket lasts as long as possible and works effectively when needed.