Whenever you have a barbeque planned at home, there is a possibility of a flare-up. Besides, in the kitchen too, a small flare-up can ignite a fire before you even realize what has happened. Oil spills in the garage, sparks, electrical disturbances, etc., can also be some causes of small fires around the house. In such cases, it is always better to be prepared and have a fire extinguisher at home, or at least a fire blanket. Usually, a fire blanket is preferred, as it is cheaper, easier to store and handle, and can sometimes be reused. It provides a more convenient option as compared to the fire extinguisher, and does not require any training to use. Let's take a look at the various uses of a fire blanket.
What is a Fire Blanket and How does it Work?
It is basically a blanket which is made from a material that is used to put out fires. One of the key elements that fuels a fire is oxygen, and the smartest thing to do is to cut off the oxygen supply to the fire, thereby not allowing it to grow. The fire blanket does exactly that. It is basically a fire resistant sheet, made of Kevlar, wool, asbestos, fiberglass, Aramid fibers, etc.
Asbestos blankets have been banned now, because although they are non-inflammable, they are hazardous to health. Blankets of Quell have a fire-resistant fiberglass fabric woven into them, to make them effective. They are treated with a fire retardant material, to increase the effectiveness in putting out a fire that can't be put out by plain water. The blanket is easy to use and comes in many sizes and types to suit specific purposes, besides being more affordable than fire extinguishers.
Types of Fire Blankets
You get small blankets that can be used in case of a kitchen fire, or other small household fires. Slightly bigger ones can be used in small organizations, offices, hotels/ restaurants, etc., where the scale of the fire is slightly larger. There are huge professional fire blankets that are used by professionals, i.e. firefighters and the like, to extinguish huge fires that can cause tremendous damage to life and property.
Uses of Fire Blankets
- In case of any small fire in the kitchen, a fire blanket can be more effective than a fire extinguisher. It is easier to use and hence can be used quickly, which is very vital.
- In case you have a welding workshop in your garage, it will prove to be extremely useful in case a welding fire starts up due some negligence.
- When planning a barbeque, avoiding flare-ups is the smart thing to do. But in case one does occur even though you've been careful, a fire blanket is more effective than a fire extinguisher. You can't really spray your grill with an extinguisher. It'll take time to come off, and your grill will be rendered useless for sometime.
- If a person catches fire, a blanket is the easiest and best way to put off the fire. Just wrap the blanket tightly around the person, and roll him on the floor.
- Fires that are caused by grease and/ or oil, are difficult to put out with water, and a fire blanket can do the job much more efficiently. Strictly avoid using water to put out fires caused by grease, oil, etc., since water will act as a catalyst in such cases and spread the fire.
- Fire blankets also find use in airplanes, sailing vessels, caravans, etc., to help put out any fires, and to stop small fires from escalating and damaging the equipment, and harming people.
- At the workplace, this blanket is very handy to smother small fires before some electrical equipment catches a spark and bursts into flames. It is the best way to keep small fires from getting out of hand.
- In case of accidents, these blankets are used to quickly smother any small fire, before the fire reaches the fuel tank and causes an explosion.
Important Safety Considerations
- Make sure that you read the instructions on the pack of the blanket. Some of the blankets are reusable while some are not.
- The blanket takes time to cool down, so do not touch the blanket for at least an hour after using it to put out a fire.
- Not all fire blankets can be used to extinguish electrical fires. Some may just aggravate the situation. So make sure you know whether the blanket you have can be used for electrical fires, and follow all the safety tips in case of electrical fires.
- While using the blanket for grease/ oil fires, spread out the blanket properly over the fire, instead of just throwing it over the fire.