Fire Blankets are used to control fires that are not easily extinguished, maintaining a fire blanket for emergency fire situations at work in the office or other commercial premises could potentially save a company thousands of pounds in office equipment replacement or even someone’s life.
A fire blanket is simply a sheet of flame retardant material designed to extinguish small fires as they start. Fire blankets, for use in kitchens and around the home, should be made of either fibreglass or woven-nylon with silicone-based flame retardant. The fire blanket is folded and stored in a quick-release container which means it can be pulled out and placed over a fire to smother it.
A Fire Blanket can be used on Class A, B and D fires, which are those fuelled by ordinary combustibles such as wood or paper, by flammable liquids like oil or gas and by combustible metals including magnesium and titanium.
All fire blankets should have an ID sign so people can understand what to use them on safely. They work by cutting off the oxygen supply (oxygen is one of the three elements that a fire needs to burn) and smothering the fire.
How do you ensure that a fire blanket is still effective?
Fire blankets should be visually inspected regularly – ideally monthly; although Fire legislation in England & Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland suggests that good practice is to check whether a blanket has been used or damaged on a weekly basis. In the case of a commercial property, the building’s Responsible Person must also ensure that the fire blanket/s are checked by the fire equipment maintenance provider at least once every 12 months.
When carrying out a visual inspection of a fire blanket, you should ensure that*:
- It is unobstructed and visible – kitchen furniture and equipment should not block easy access to the fire blanket
- Blanket should be securely mounted to the wall in the pack/container with the pull-down straps positioned approx. 1.5 metres from the floor
- The fire blanket container is not obviously damaged, no wear or damage to the fire blanket and it is clean and dust free and that the pull-down straps are visible/undamaged
- The instructions for use are clean and legible and face outwards
- You check the age of the fire blanket - consider replacing if it is more than seven years old
The responsible person or maintenance company should record the results of these visual inspections and arrange for any necessary corrective action, e.g., providing a new fire blanket.
Firechief recommends using fire blankets manufactured from premium K100 glass fibre cloth and kitemark certified BS EN 1869. Our range of Firechief fire blankets also carry a 5-year guarantee for peace of mind.
The Firechief range includes high-performance fire extinguishers, fire blankets, first aid kits, lithium-ion fire extinguishers for your home and leisure time. For more information, call us on +44 (0)330 999 0019 or email email@example.com.
*According to the Code of Practice for the Commissioning and Maintenance of Fire Blankets manufactured to BS EN 1869 as issued by the Fire Industry Association (FIA)