How To Use A Fire Blanket
Fire blankets are manufactured from synthetic and specially treated fire resistant/retardant materials, such as wool or woven fibreglass and can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Celsius. They are designed to provide fire protection by safely smothering a fire. They are either square or rectangular, and each side must be a minimum of 1 metre and no longer than 1.8 metres. Knowing how to use a fire blanket in a time of need can save a life or prevent a fire from spreading.
How To Use A Fire Blanket On Fat And Cooking Oil Fires
It’s essential to remember that fire blanket use is only practical in cases of minor fire.
If possible turn off the heat source. For example, the gas on your stove. Then open the blanket entirely out so that it is large enough to cover the whole flame to ensure that no amount of oxygen is reaching the fire. Fire blankets work by starving the fire from oxygen, which then disrupts the chemical process required for combustion.
While using the fire blanket, make sure you wrap the top edges around your hands to shield your skin from the flames. It’s also important to make sure the fire doesn’t spread to your clothing.
Be sure to gently lay the blanket down instead of trying to throw it over the fire. Doing so will prevent the flames from spreading.
Once the fire is extinguished, leave the blanket in place until there is no longer a risk of reignition.
Fire blankets are not designed to be used more than once, so make sure you dispose of your fire blanket after it has cooled down.
How To Use A Fire Blanket For Personal Protection
Fire blankets are also useful if clothes catch fire. Wrap them in the blanket to try and smother the flame and encourage the person to stop drop and roll until the flames have been extinguished. Larger sized blankets are recommended if this is a potential hazard in your workplace as smaller ones may not be able to wrap around the body completely.
Proper use of a fire blanket can save your valuables or even the life of someone.
Fire Blanket Maintenance
It is essential to make sure your fire blanket has not been contaminated by cooking oils or fats, as this will create a fire hazard. Fire contamination of the blanket from previous use degrades its extinguishment capability and should be replaced once used.
Fire Blanket Signage
All fire blankets must be accompanied by fire blanket signage as per NZS4503.
Fire blanket signs should be located at least 2 meters above floor level and be visible to enable quick response during the event of a fire.
The fire blanket location sign shall be no smaller than 400 mm x 200 mm.
We offer a full range of NZ safety signs.
How To Store A Fire Blanket
It is essential to place your fire blankets in a location which is readily accessible.
Our fire blankets come in a PVC, quick release cover. PVC it is super easy to keep clean and protects your blanket from spills or any other kind of contamination.
The best place to mount your fire blanket is usually among travel paths or near the exit. Having it hanging directly above where you are cooking will not only get it covered in grease but may stop you from being able to reach for it in the event of a fire.
Fire Blanket Sizes
The general size of New Zealand fire blankets are
- 1.0 m x 1.0 m Best for small kitchens that use only small pots and pans.
- 1.2 m x 1.2 m Best for small kitchens that use slightly larger pots and pans.
- 1.2 m x 1.8 m Best for commercial kitchens and clothing fires.
- 1.8 m x 1.8 m Best for commercial kitchens and clothing fires.
Important Things To Remember
Fire blankets may also be used as a thermal barrier against radiated heat. Wrap yourself safely in the blanket as you pass through the fire affected area.
Always be sure that your hands are shielded from the flames as you place the blanket over the fire.