Some would say that the purpose of a fire blanket is self evident; however, that's just not the case. While covers and blankets have been used since man first struck a spark to put out fires, there are specifics that make fire blankets a little different.
Essentially all fire blankets are the same; however, there are differences depending on the blanket's manufacturer. Methods in manufacture, sizes and styles all play their part in what the specific product can do; however, all fire blankets must be fire retardant, usable by hand, and work to retard the spread of flames by restraining its access to oxygen, which kills the fire.
While the advent of fire extinguishers has curtailed the everyday use of fire blankets, there are still a lot of reasons to use them at work or in the home. The application of a fire blanket is pretty basic; wrap or cover the affected area to keep out air, and keep it in place for 30 seconds to two minutes.
Simply remove your fire blanket from its container or packaging and open it up. One person can usually work a single blanket at a time, so once opened, it's a straightforward case of simply covering the affected area.
The main benefits for this method of fire fighting on a home or small location basis is that it's cheap and easy to use; there's no maintenance required, and the level of training in the use of a fire blanket is negligible.
While effective for small areas, these blankets are not designed to take on any major conflagrations. In the event that the fire is more than a single blanket can fully cover, do not hesitate to simply call your local fire service. It's better to be alive and have called out the fire brigade for a silly reason, than not to call them with disastrous results.
- fire image by naumovski from Fotolia.com