How to Use a Fire Blanket

It can sometimes be a matter of life and death if you don't know how to use a fire blanket. Check out the article below to get a low down on the same.
No building constructed as per modern safety construction standards today is without a fire safety facility. It has become an inevitable part of a residential as well as commercial construction. Fire alarm systems and fire extinguishers are widely seen and used in buildings. But there are fire blankets as well for this purpose which have become a regular feature for ensuring fire safety for buildings. Knowing the correct usage of fire blankets can save someone's life in a contingency situation. It is always helpful if people have an idea about how to use a fire blanket. In case you did not know and wanted to know about it, the details are coming up! Hang on!

What is a Fire Blanket?

As the name suggests, fire blanket is a safety equipment, looking like a blanket. It is made in a way that it can extinguish initial sparks of fire. It is made of a sheet made from fire retardant material. It is placed over the fire to smother it. Smaller fire blankets, for domestic purposes are made from fiberglass and the bigger ones for commercial and laboratory uses are mostly made of wool. These are mounted in vertical cabinets with a quick release facility. These blankets should have an NFPA - National Fire Protection Ratings for ensuring that they work properly.

How and When to Use a Fire Safety Blanket?

You will need to have proper safety gear for using fire blankets, like fire proof gloves and even a mask if need be. After ensuring that the blanket is NFPA certified, here is more on how to use it.

Step #1
As mentioned earlier, see if the fire blanket is not a regular one which are in most cases not made of fire retardant material. In fact, they are inflammable and rather than putting the fire off they themselves can catch fire.

Step #2
Roll your sleeves properly before you use the blanket and wear gloves so that you do not burn your hands. Wrap the top corners of the top edge of the blanket on your hands to save them from getting burnt. This is one of the very important fire safety tips.

Step #3
Here comes the most important part regarding the use of a fire blanket. Gradually and carefully, drape the blanket over the fire. The blanket should properly cover the area from which the flames are coming and then laying flush against the thing you are trying to save.

Step #4
While you are draping the blanket, ensure that there is no scope for air to pass either from behind the blanket or from under the blanket. Cutting off the air supply totally will ensure that the fire dies down in a few moments and fire safety is achieved.

Before you touch the blanket once the fire is out, let the blanket cool down for 30 to 60 minutes. After ensuring that it is completely safe to handle the blanket, with no smoldering or flames, the blanket can then be cleaned and refolded for future use. Further, when it comes to using a fire blanket on a person, it is always better to throw or drape the blanket over the person who has caught fire and then get that person on the ground. This helps put off the fire faster than the traditional method of stop, drop and roll.

Now another important aspect in connection with the usage of fire blankets is when to use one. Whenever there is a danger of fire spreading all over the place, or when the fire has just started and water does not seem to be working, a fire blanket will have to be used to extinguish the fire. That's all for now. Take care!
By Medha Godbole
Published: 11/29/2010
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