Fire safety is crucial in any working environment. Educating your employees about how to use a fire blanket is just as important as regular equipment testing and maintenance. Accessible, functional fire protection equipment is a standard requirement in every Australian workplace. If your business is in the retail food industry or located in a commercial kitchen, you need to have a fire blanket installed in the cooking area.
Just last month in Byron Bay, a man suffered second-degree burns after a fire caused by a deep fryer. The kebab shop employee tried to extinguish the flame with a Co2 fire extinguisher instead of an appropriate fire blanket and the flame was subsequently exacerbated. Unnecessary harm can be avoided by knowing which equipment to use with the different classes of fire and how to use the equipment during an emergency.
Which Class of Fire?
Fire blankets are appropriate for use against Class F fires. This is a type of fire that involves cooking fats and oils. Fire extinguishers aren’t appropriate for use against this type of flame because of the extreme temperature that fats and oils can reach during combustion. The blankets are made out of fire retardant materials, manufactured especially for Class F fires.
Putting out a Fire
After you have confirmed that the fire is Class F in nature, use a fire protection blanket to suffocate the flame. Make sure every member of your team knows how to use a fire blanket correctly, in order to avoid harm. Your staff can effectively reduce risk by following these simple steps:
⇒ Turn off the source of the heat (if it is safe to do so).
⇒ There are two tabs on the bottom of the blanket packaging. Remove the blanket with a simultaneous sharp pull on each tab. This will release the blanket.
⇒ Hold the material in front of you. Make sure your hands are protected by rolling the edge of the fabric over your hands.
⇒ Place the blanket over the fire gently, keeping your hands and face away from the flame. Do not throw the material on the flame.
⇒ Lay the blanket over the fire from the closest edge of the flame. Do this to avoid fire running up the far side of the blanket and onto your hands.
⇒ If you haven’t already turned off the source of the heat, do so now.
⇒ Leave the blanket on the heat source until you are sure that the flame has been suffocated and the heat dissipated. You should leave the blanket in place for at least 15–30 minutes to ensure the fire is completely gone.
⇒ Leave the building and call the fire brigade. Even if you think the fire is under control, there is a chance of re-ignition, so you should have a professional assess the situation.
If you feel at risk during any of these steps, remove yourself from the situation by using the nearest exit and call the emergency services.
How to Use a Fire Blanket on a Person
Fire blankets can also be used against clothing fires. By wrapping a person in the fire-retardant material, you can prevent extreme and painful injury. Follow these simple steps in immediate reaction to a clothing fire:
⇒ Wrap the blanket around the person. Protect your hands by rolling the material over them before approaching the flame.
⇒ Roll the blanket around the person until the fire is covered.
⇒ Try to remain calm and instruct the person to STOP, DROP, & ROLL. This means that the person wrapped in the blanket should drop to the floor and roll around until the fire is extinguished.
⇒ Call emergency services or seek medical attention immediately.
Precious seconds can be saved when your fire safety equipment is accessible. With a fast response to a clothing fire, a member of your staff could save a life. If you are an employee, and you aren’t sure where your equipment is located, ask your employer to make each fire blanket readily available. According to Australian workplace standards, your boss is obligated to provide you with effective protection and risk management equipment.
Fire Blanket Testing
Working fire protection equipment not only reduces potential harm – it also reduces property damage and loss to productivity. It is in the interest of every business owner and manager to install and maintain fire safety devices. With Jim’s fire blanket testing services, you can verify the functionality and accessibility of each fire suffocating device. Our routine testing and inspection services help minimise risk in businesses across the nation. Get in touch with our fire safety team for more information about our services plus a free quote. Safety is our first concern – make it yours today.
What is a Fire Blanket?
A fire blanket is made from woven glass fibre fabric and a layer of fire retardant film. Fire blankets are powerful pieces of equipment which work by cutting off the oxygen supply of a fire, thereby starving it of one of the three crucial elements it needs to survive and ultimately extinguishing it. They can either be used to put out small fires which have been discovered in a particular location or to smother a person whose clothes have caught alight.
Whilst fire blankets cannot be used to put out those fires which have already started to spread and become major emergencies; they are nonetheless invaluable assets when it comes to making a business a safer place. What many people don’t realise is that the vast majority (studies suggest that the exact figure is around 80%) of fires which every occur can actually be put out quickly and easily using a fire extinguisher – the important thing is ensuring that they’re caught early before they get out of hand.
However, not all of such fires can be dealt with using an extinguisher. Class F fires can’t be put out with an extinguisher due to the fact that the cooking fats and oils which cause them reach extremely high temperatures during the combustion process. Fortunately, fire blankets are extremely effective against such flames.
The Importance of Fire Blanket Testing
Many business owners fall into the trap of thinking that they’ve taken all the necessary steps to protect against Class F fires simply by purchasing and installing fire blankets on their premises. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are a variety of different factors which can have an impact on the functionality and effectiveness of fire blankets, and all of them need to be considered if a business is to maintain maximum protection against Class F flames.
For one thing, it’s important to make sure that every blanket is located in somewhere that is easy to find, and that clear instructions regarding how to use it are visible. In the stress and confusion of an emergency situation, it’s essential that all safety equipment is conspicuous and clearly labelled in order to avoid costly mistakes being made.
It is also important that blankets are securely stored, and of course that the blankets themselves are correctly folded and are free from any damage. Fortunately, by working with an expert in testing and maintaining fire safety equipment, you’ll be able to guarantee that your fire blankets are accessible and effective when you need them most.
Why Choose Jim’s Fire Safety?
Here at Jim’s Fire Safety, we’ve developed a strong reputation in the industry as one of the leading specialists in fire safety equipment in all of Australia. Regardless of whether you own a small, local business ora large, national corporation, you can be entirely sure that our friendly and professional team of fire safety experts will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding the benefits of safety blankets, and help you keep your property safe from Class F fires.
Jim’s Fire Safety specialises in fire safety protection for homes & workplaces around Australia. We offer a variety of services such as smoke alarm testing and fire extinguisher testing to ensure you are safe if a fire does occur. Browse our website further or contact us to learn more.