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In What Situations Do You Need To Use A Fire Retardant Blanket?

Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-11-15      Origin: Site

A fire retardant blanket is a specialized safety tool designed to inhibit the spread of flames and provide protection against heat and fire. Typically made from fire-resistant materials such as fiberglass or treated fabrics, these blankets are intended to smother and extinguish small fires by cutting off the oxygen supply.

fire blanket 1

They are commonly used for emergency situations, allowing individuals to shield themselves or others from flames, suppress sparks, or even escape from fire-prone environments. The fire retardant properties of the blanket make it a valuable addition to fire safety measures, offering a portable and effective means of controlling and containing fires in various settings.

Fire blanket usage scenarios and situations

Fire-retardant blankets can be used in various scenarios and situations to enhance fire safety and prevent the spread of small fires. Here are some common usage scenarios and situations:


Fire-retardant blankets are valuable in kitchens to swiftly control small cooking fires, such as gas fires, oil pan fires, etc, particularly those involving grease or oil, preventing the fire from escalating.

kitchen fire

Key points to note: Do not use water on grease or oil fires, as it can cause splattering and spread the fire. Refrain from panicking and calmly reach for the fire-retardant blanket to smother the flames safely.

Welding and Metalworking Protection

Designed for welding environments, these blankets shield against sparks, molten metal, and heat during welding and metalworking processes, safeguarding workers and equipment.

welding spark

Key points to note: Avoid direct contact with sparks or molten metal. Use the fire-retardant blanket as a shield without placing yourself in harm's way.

Outdoor Activity Security

Ideal for outdoor activities like camping, fire-retardant blankets create safe spaces for campfires, helping to prevent accidental fires from spreading in natural settings.

For example, during a camping trip, if a campfire becomes uncontrollable or sparks ignite nearby dry vegetation, a fire-retardant blanket can be swiftly deployed. By placing the blanket over the flames, it creates a safe space, smothering the fire and preventing its spread in the natural setting. This targeted use helps campers contain and manage fire hazards, ensuring a safer outdoor experience.

Key points to note: Limit unnecessary movement around the fire to prevent the spread of sparks or embers to surrounding dry vegetation. Once the fire is out of control, you must call the rescue call and evacuate immediately.

Industrial and Specialized Applications

In industrial settings, such as laboratories or the oil and gas industry, fire-retardant blankets are deployed to contain and suppress fires caused by chemical spills, flammable materials, or exposure to high heat, ensuring workplace safety.

Emergency Evacuation Aid

During emergency evacuations, fire-retardant blankets serve as portable protective barriers, offering individuals a shield against flames and heat as they exit the premises.

For example, during a building evacuation due to a fire emergency, if individuals encounter flames or heat while exiting, fire-retardant blankets can be used as portable shields. By deploying the blankets, individuals create a protective barrier, mitigating exposure to flames and heat during the evacuation process. This practical application enhances safety measures and provides an additional layer of protection for individuals evacuating a premises in emergency situations.

Key points to note: Do not choose a fire blanket that is not the right size, otherwise it may be too big and restrict your movement or be too small and have no good protective effect.

How does a fire retardant blanket work?

Fire blankets can work mainly because of the characteristics of the materials used to make them and the principle that fire blankets create a physical barrier when used. Below we will explain these two points in detail.

fire blanket

Materials of fire retardant blanket

Fire-retardant blankets are crafted from materials carefully selected for their ability to withstand high temperatures and resist ignition. Common materials include:

Fiberglass: Provides excellent heat resistance and insulation, preventing the spread of flames.

Aramid Fibers (e.g., Nomex or Kevlar): Known for their strength and flame-resistant properties, offering effective protection.

Wool (Treated with Fire-Retardant Chemicals): Natural wool is inherently fire-resistant, and treatment enhances its ability to withstand flames.

Silica: A heat-resistant material that adds durability and thermal insulation to the blanket.

Ceramic Fibers: Known for their resistance to high temperatures, providing effective protection against heat and flames.

These materials work together to create a barrier that hinders the ignition and spread of fire, making the blanket a reliable tool for fire safety.

The principle of fire blanket fire extinguishing

The effectiveness of a fire-retardant blanket in extinguishing fires is based on the following principles:

Firstly, lacing a fire retardant blanket over a small fire creates a physical barrier that restricts the flow of oxygen. Fire requires oxygen to sustain combustion, and by cutting off this essential element, the blanket effectively starves the fire of the necessary oxygen, leading to its extinguishment.

Secondly, the materials used in the fire retardant blanket serve as a thermal barrier. By covering the ignited materials, the blanket insulates them from external heat sources. This insulation helps to cool down the flames, reducing the temperature of the burning materials and preventing re-ignition.

Thirdly, fire retardant blankets are designed to contain flames and sparks within their confines. This containment helps prevent the fire from spreading to nearby surfaces or materials, limiting its potential for causing further damage.

How to use a fire blanket?

Keep fire blankets within easy reach

Remember, a fire blanket can be a valuable tool in extinguishing small fires or smothering flames on a person, so it's essential to have it within reach at all times. Try to keep the fire blanket in an easily accessible location, such as a designated emergency station or a prominent spot in your kitchen. This way, you can quickly grab it in case of a fire emergency and prevent any potential disasters from escalating.

When a small fire occurs

1. In the event of a small fire, it is crucial to act swiftly by retrieving the accessible fire retardant blanket from its designated storage.

2. Approach the fire cautiously, ensuring a careful placement over the source to cover the entire area. This sequence of actions, from swift retrieval to careful placement, is essential.

3. Creating a tight seal by pressing down on the edges not only enhances the blanket's effectiveness in cutting off oxygen but also contributes significantly to suppressing the flames.

4. Leaving the blanket in place after deployment is equally important, allowing sufficient time for it to work in reducing temperature and effectively suppressing the fire.

When a big fire occurs

If a big fire breaks out, you can wrap yourself in a fire blanket for some protection. However, it should be noted that the role of a fire blanket in a big fire is very limited, and it may also hinder your movements! Therefore using a fire blanket should not replace the primary strategy of immediate evacuation if it is safe to do so, we must always put our own life safety first.

What are the limitations of fire blanket?

While fire blankets are undoubtedly a valuable tool for extinguishing initial fires, it is crucial to recognize their restrictions in order to make informed decisions during emergency situations.

One primary limitation of fire blankets is their inability to handle larger fire scenarios. Due to their design and size, fire blankets are only suitable for tackling fires with relatively small fire intensities. Attempting to use a fire blanket in a more extensive fire situation could prove futile and potentially dangerous, as it may not effectively smother the flames or provide sufficient protection.

Another factor to consider is the range of a fire blanket. Unlike other firefighting equipment, such as fire extinguishers, fire blankets are limited in their reach. This is because using a fire blanket requires unfolding it and holding down the edges to create a barrier between the fire and the surroundings. As a result, fire blankets can only be effectively used at close range, making them less practical for fires that are located at a distance or in hard-to-reach areas.

How to decide between a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket?

Due to the limitations of fire extinguishing blankets, sometimes we need to choose between fire extinguishers and fire blankets, two commonly used fire extinguishing appliances. Here are some guidelines to help you make the decision:

Type of Fire

Fire Extinguisher: Use a fire extinguisher for fires involving solid materials (wood, paper, cloth), liquids (flammable liquids, oil, gasoline), or gases (propane, natural gas).

Fire Blanket: Use a fire blanket for small fires involving cooking oils or fats, as well as for clothing fires.

Ease of Use

Fire Extinguisher: Fire extinguishers require some training to operate effectively. They typically involve pulling a pin, aiming the nozzle, squeezing the handle, and sweeping from side to side.

Fire Blanket: Fire blankets are generally easier to use. You pull the blanket from its container and place it over the fire source, smothering the flames.

Specific Hazards

Fire Extinguisher: Ideal for situations where you need to reach a fire source at a distance or where a more controlled discharge is necessary.

Fire Blanket: Effective for quickly and directly smothering small fires, especially in areas where using water or other extinguishing agents may not be appropriate.

Training and Familiarity

Fire Extinguisher: Individuals should receive training on how to use a fire extinguisher effectively. Regular drills and familiarization with the equipment are essential.

Fire Blanket: While training is still beneficial, fire blankets are generally more intuitive to use and may require less extensive training.

In some situations, having both a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket available can provide comprehensive fire safety coverage. It's essential to understand the properties and limitations of each and tailor your fire safety equipment to the specific needs of your environment. Regular maintenance, training, and awareness of fire safety protocols contribute to effective and safe fire response.

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