Why Every Kitchen Should Have Fire Blankets
A fire blanket is a simple fire safety device designed to tackle early stage small fires. A traditional fire blanket is constructed from a sheet of woven fire retardant material, often fiberglass, with handles and can withstand temperatures of up to 900 degrees Celsius.
The sheet is used to smother the fire, starve it of oxygen and extinguish it before the fire gets out of control.
Most commonly, fire blankets will be installed in kitchens, although increasingly they are being used in educational, factory and mechanical settings.
Fire Blankets are often installed in “public” areas, such as kitchens inside schools, rented accommodation or business places. This is because they are incredibly simple to operate. Simply grab the handles and pull, this will allow the blanket to fall from the wall and cover the operator’s hands to protect them from burns. This allows their safe operation during an emergency with a minimal amount of training.
Why use a Fire blanket rather than an extinguisher?
A fire blanket is specifically designed to handle small fires in specific settings, particularly fires that could otherwise be difficult to tackle with a fire extinguisher.
Common oil pan fires are difficult to deal with using tradition fire extinguishers. A fire extinguisher is often too powerful; the force can spray hot flaming oil from the pan and cause burns or secondary fires. Alternatively, a water fire extinguisher (or container) could be incorrectly used to douse an oil flame, causing an extremely dangerous reaction. An alternative to a fire blanket is a damp tea towel; however this takes time to prepare, giving the fire potential to become out of control.
Fire blankets, however, are often stored within a short reach of common oil fire locations and are simply required to be placed over the flame to extinguish and left until for at least 15 minutes for the hot oil to cool down.
Additional uses for a fire blanket
In addition to extinguishing small liquid and solid fires, the fire blanket can be used with a person whose clothing has ignited. By placing them on the ground and wrapping them in the blanket, oxygen is excluded and the flames die down. This can be a safer and more practical alternative to using a fire extinguisher.
As a fire blanket is a strong, fire retardant piece of fabric, in an emergency evacuation scenario it can also be used by an evacuee to shield themselves from heat and flames.
Does a fire blanket replace a fire extinguisher?
No, fire extinguishers are still required and recommended. Whilst a fire blanket is a better way of tackling small fires, it does not remove the possibility of a larger or different class of fire from occurring. In these instances, a fire extinguisher of the correct class is still recommended.
Our fire blankets are available in multiple sizes and are certified to British Standards. Click here to find out more.