Specially made out of non-flammable material, fire blankets are your best bet against small indoor fires. They help you put it out immediately to minimize injuries and property damage. But, a fire blanket is only effective when it is installed in the right spots around your home or office. The fire blanket’s location needs to be highly accessible yet away from any possible sources of fire.
Here are all the key elements you need to consider when deciding where your fire blankets will be located.
Where to Put Fire Blankets?
Your fire blanket location can make all the difference for a small fire in its inception phase, turning into a larger one that engulfs your entire property. Fire blankets are incredibly effective in smothering indoor fires by cutting off the oxygen supply, so it doesn’t spread. This can save your property and belongings from extensive damage. Fire blankets can also save lives if your clothes catch fire or you need to pass through the flames to rescue someone.
Therefore, your fire blankets must be within reach in case of an emergency. Only then will you be able to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
You should make sure the fire blankets are located in every room or area where there are chances of a fire breaking out. Keep in mind that this isn’t limited to kitchen fires. Your candles and fireplaces can also be sources of the breakout. So, installing a fire blanket in easily accessible spots will ensure safety for you and your family.
However, the most critical location for a fire blanket is in your kitchen. Fire safety experts recommend that these blankets should be stored in or adjacent to your kitchen. You should make sure they are close enough that you can reach them easily but not directly in the line of a possible fire.
Another component to consider is that most blankets need to be mounted on a wall as per the given instructions. This allows them to be highly accessible, and you can pull the tabs easily for quick release. Read the instructions given on your fire blanket thoroughly before choosing a spot.
How Many Fire Blankets Do I Need?
The number of fire blankets you need depends on how big your property is. You will also need to consider all the possible sources of a fire outbreak before deciding how many fire blankets to purchase.
A good rule of thumb is to place one blanket in:
- Your kitchen
- Each of the large, open spaces where you commonly light fires (For example, where you light candles, smoking areas, or rooms with a fireplace)
- The smoking area
- The Barbeque space
- Near the HVAC control area (in case of faulty wiring or heating issues)
How to Store a Fire Blanket?
Safely storing your fire blanket will ensure it is readily available as soon as you need it. Always keep your blanket away from any possible sources of fire. Otherwise, it won’t be reachable in case of an emergency.
For best storage, your fire blanket location should be near doorways or in the hallway. This allows you to reach it easily and make use of the blanket as you attempt to escape the fire.
How to Fold a Fire Blanket?
Here are some necessary steps on how to fold your fire blanket to be placed in its container;
Lay the blanket completely flat over a smooth surface with the pull tapes to your left. A tabletop or the floor works best.
Start by folding the bottom edge of the fire blanket to the very top of the top tape.
Next, fold the bottom edge of the blanket to the top of the bottom tape.
Then, you will need to fold the bottom edge up to the top edge.
Repeat step 4.
Fold the fire blanket in this zigzag pattern until it is slightly shorter than the container’s size.
Place the folded blanket inside the container and reseal it properly.
How to Maintain a Fire Blanket?
To ensure your fire blankets are in perfect condition to be used in an emergency, you should carry out proper maintenance at least annually. It is highly recommended to call fire safety specialists to conduct this maintenance. However, these are some steps you can follow to do it yourself as well.
Remove the fire blanket from its container and check if it is in good condition. Make sure to look over the container, too, and test out the seal.
Fold the fire blanket by following the steps mentioned above and place it back in its container. Be sure to record all details on a service label.
Review the fire blanket location and check that it isn’t too close to any possible fire sources.
Mount the fire blanket back on the wall and ensure that it is placed at an accessible height. You should be able to reach the blanket and pull on the tapes without any obstruction.
How Long Do Fire Blankets Last?
When you invest in a good quality fire blanket, it will easily last you over seven years. Most fire blankets come with instructions regarding their life and how long you can use them. Do check what the fine print says and replace your blankets accordingly.
Also, it would be best if you kept in mind that these blankets are for single use. If you’ve used your fire blanket to put out an incipient fire, please don’t reseal it in the container. Instead, you should dispose of it as per the instructions and install a new fire blanket in its place.
Fire blankets are handy against small fires in the kitchen or a BBQ gone wrong. But, an old, unsealed blanket won’t do much for you. It can increase the risk of fire damage as you wait in hopes that the blanket will put out the fire.
Therefore, it is imperative that you carry out a thorough maintenance of your fire blankets at least once a year. Also, choose appropriate spots where your fire blankets are located for optimal safety.
Nick Klamecki is a certified Fire and Workplace Safety expert with 15 years experience in product research and testing. He has a degree in Economics from U.C. Davis, is an active outdoorsman and spent years ensuring the safety of special needs children. Nick researches and tests workplace, industrial and safety products and provides advice on their safe use.