How and When to Use a Fire Blanket
Does your office kitchen have a fire blanket? If so it’s important to know how and when to use it in case of an emergency.
Fire blankets are an essential piece of safety equipment for any business with a kitchen. Many people think they don’t need a fire blanket if they don’t have a commercial kitchen, but fire blankets are required near any kitchen – even the office kitchen. If you have a fire blanket, when should you use it and how do you use a fire blanket properly?
When should a fire blanket be used
Fire blankets are used to fight Class F fires which are fires involving cooking fats and oils. They’re also very effective at combating clothing fires. It’s because of their effectiveness in fighting fires involving cooking fats and oils, that fire blankets are recommended for installation close to kitchens.
How do I use a fire blanket?
If there is a Class F fire or a person with their clothing on fire, remove the fire blanket from its casing and either smother the flame or wrap the person whose clothing is on fire in the fire blanket.
How do fire blankets work?
Fire blankets work by smothering the flame and cutting off all oxygen to the fire. Therefore, it’s critical that the fire blanket is in perfect condition when you need to call on it in an emergency. Fire blankets work by saving you critical moments in an emergency, smothering a fire that could easily get out of control and cause damage to your property, your business and even threaten lives.
How do I get a fire blanket installed?
Use a reputable fire protection provider such as Jim’s Fire Safety (a division of Jim’s Test & Tag Melbourne). Jim’s Fire Safety can visit your premises to install a fire blanket where it can be easily accessed in an emergency. They’ll also provide the correct signage so that it is immediately clear to anyone in the kitchen where the fire blanket is stored and will record testing details on a label so anyone checking in future knows when the fire blanket was last checked.
Fire blankets need to be accessible, stored correctly in a location that is signposted and installed in accordance with the current fire safety standards. In Australia the current fire safety standard is AS/NZ 1851-2012.
How often does a fire blanket need to be checked?
Fire blankets should be checked every six months by a trained professional technician who will check that the fire blanket is correctly stored and accessible. They will also check that the fire blanket has been installed correctly and that there is no damage to the blanket container. The final thing the technician will check is that the fire blanket itself has no damage or contamination and that it is correctly folded in its container.
In the event of an emergency, you want to be sure that the fire blanket you’re relying on is one that is free from damage and one that you can remove easily from its container because it’s been installed correctly.
What happens if I’ve used my fire blanket?
If you (or one of your team) have had to use the fire blanket in an emergency, you can’t use the fire blanket again without having it checked by a professional fire safety technician. Damage to the blanket isn’t always obvious and there’s no point in having a sub-standard piece of fire safety equipment on site.
If a fire blanket has been used on an actual fire, then it must be condemned and replaced. But sometimes, the fire blanket can be removed in an emergency and not used because it’s not required. In these instances, you still need to get a technician to check the blanket.
If the fire blanket can be used again, the technician will ensure that it is folded correctly and reinserted properly into its container. If it needs to be replaced, your fire safety adviser will be able to provide you with a new piece of equipment.
Importantly, you should initiate replacement of your fire blanket immediately after it has been used. Put that item on the top of your to-do list because if you have a fire and there is no fire blanket, then you’re putting your team’s lives and the future of your business at risk.
Keep good records
Make sure that your fire safety provider keeps records of when your fire protection equipment is tested. The team at Jim’s Fire Safety will provide you with a logbook of results that let you know when your blanket was tested and when it needs to be checked again. Phone 13 15 46 for more information about Jim’s Fire Safety services. They Also provide Portable Appliance Testing .
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