What is a fire blanket and what is it used for?
Firefighting tools and equipment come in different forms. While some are designed for suppressing and extinguishing fires, others are meant for purposes of shielding and fire protection.
A fire blanket is a great tool to have at home as it could turn out to be a lifesaver. This article will be discussing how to effectively use one.
What Is A Fire Blanket Used For?
This single-use blanket is made from fire-resistant material, hence its use in suffocating fires of oxygen supply.
While fire blankets are effective as part of first response tools, it’s necessary to call emergency services for proper containment in situations of fire outbreaks.
With this said, let’s get into our discussion proper.
Purpose of Fire Blankets
For a more comprehensive discussion on how to properly utilize fire blankets, let’s begin by providing some background information on what they are.
As the name suggests, fire blankets are used against fires. This woven fabric made from fire-resistant material is designed to withstand temperatures as high as 900 degrees Celsius.
It must be said however that fire blankets are best used in small fire scenarios. One of the best aspects of its design is its lightweight, which allows for easy use by anyone.
How Does A Fire Blanket Work?
Fire blankets can serve for bodily coverage or shield from fires as well as a small fire suffocation tool.
Fire suffocation in this sense simply involves starving the fire of oxygen. When a fire blanket is thrown over a fire, there’s no longer oxygen to promote combustion. This helps kill the fire in no time.
Again, it must be restated that this isn’t a substitute for emergency services, especially for larger fires.
Using Fire Blanket On A Person: Ideal Situations
Some situations call for use of fire blankets.
Such examples include a case of burning clothing, as well as for fires that can be easily covered by the blanket’s surface area.
When clothing is on fire, fire blankets can be put to good use by tightly wrapping the blanket around the affected individual.
With the person properly wrapped, they must get down on the ground and roll to help put off the fire. All this action must be taken quickly to prevent the fire from spreading.
Using Fire Blankets isn’t a great Idea under Certain Conditions
Limited knowledge of its use practically makes a fire blanket useless. So also is a situation where the fire is larger than the blanket’s surface area.
Can you easily cover the affected area? Some surfaces are uneven and present a difficult challenge. Under these circumstances, it’s best to adopt other alternatives.
Using A Fire Blanket
It has been necessary to provide some vital information in the buildup to our main point of discussion.
Understanding how to use a fire blanket could make the difference between putting a fire under control or escalating it. If you have no idea how to use it, the following guidelines should prove helpful.
The steps required include assessing the risk level, turning off the fire source, putting on gloves if you can, and getting the blanket ready.
Next, have the blanket folded to protect your hands and raise it as a shield as you approach the fire. Now, spread the blanket over the flame and leave it in place. Call emergency services.
It’s Vital not to Panic
To properly use a fire blanket, you mustn’t panic. More often than not, panic worsens the situation as you’re unlikely to act rationally.
While it’s important not to panic, it’s necessary to act fast to put the situation under control. Now, proceed to take the necessary steps.
Assessing the Risk Level
Before deciding to use the fire blanket, you must assess the risk level. This enables you to determine whether it’s safe using the fire blanket or not.
When the fire is larger than the blanket’s surface area, it’s no longer ideal to use the blanket. It’s best to seek other alternatives.
Turning Off the Fire Source
A fire always has a source. Whatever the source is, it’s important to have it turned off if you can. In the case of an electrical problem, it’s best to turn off the power supply first.
In the case of gas, have it turned off. You can have your gas supply turned off outside when there’s little time.
Putting on Gloves
Why do you need gloves to use a fire blanket? Some fire blankets are made from fiber materials that could prick you. It’s important when buying to go for those which do not.
With gloves on, you’re now ready to pick and use your fire blanket.
Getting the Blanket Ready
In readying your blanket, you’re likely to find tags extending from the bag. Have them pulled to open up or release the blanket. This must be done quickly to attend to the growing fire.
Have the Blanket Folded to Protect your Hands
At this point, you need to think about your safety as you approach the fire. Have the blanket folded over your hands to prevent direct exposure to the fire.
Having done that, you’re ready to approach the fire.
Raise it as a Shield as you Approach the Fire
To enhance your protection, it’s necessary to have the fire blanket raised as a shield between you and the fire. This limits the heat radiation that comes from it.
As you approach, your weight should be on your back foot. The blanket shouldn’t be held too high or low.
Spread the Blanket Over the Flame
Now you’re properly positioned to spread the blanket over the fire. This action must be carefully implemented. Have the blanket carefully spread over the fire.
The blanket should be positioned in a way that covers the entire burning area.
Having spread the blanket, leave it in place to allow for suffocation of the fire. Oxygen is unable to penetrate the blanket fiber. This suppresses and eventually extinguishes the fire.
Call Emergency Services
It’s not enough to extinguish a fire using the blanket. Some professional assessment is necessary to determine the problem is fully resolved. You’ll also get some recommendations that could help prevent future incidences.
Of course, you’ll need to replace the used blanket with a new one.
The tips provided here will go a long way in making a fire situation less dangerous. This fire suppression technique only works for small fires and should be used as such.
The fire shouldn’t be larger than the blanket’s surface area.