Fire accidents can cause unnecessary injuries, some of which could be fatal. The law requires every workplace to be equipped with a fire safety equipment.
Your knowledge and that of your employees on matters fire safety is therefore very important. Regular training and scheduled fire drills are an essential part of fire safety precautions.
Fire is divided into 6 classes; A to F. Different classes of fire require different methods to extinguish them. Fire blankets are used to extinguish class F fires. Below are 8 tips on how to use a fire blanket effectively.
1. Determine What Classification the Fire Is
Before using a fire blanket, you need to first confirm the fire category is class F. This is the type of fire caused by burning cooking fats and oils. Workplaces that use these oils need to to have fire blankets. When class F breaks out, temperatures can be very high, and any other type of fire extinguisher can expose you to serious injury.
2. Turn off the Source of the Fire
Be sure it is safe to do this. Safely turning off the source will diminish the fire’s ability to spread further.
3. Get the Fire Blanket
Quickly reach out for the blanket. It should be in an easily accessible place. Make sure every employee knows where the fire blankets are. Fire drills equip and prepare employees for such emergencies. A fire blanket has two tabs at the bottom. Remove the blanket by sharply pulling the tabs simultaneously. Your fire blanket is now ready for use.
4. Holding the Blanket
Hold the blanket in front of you with your hands holding each side. To avoid burning your hands, roll the blanket inwards at the point you are holding it.
5. Placing the Blanket on the Fire
Slowly place the blanket on the fire. Do not throw it on the fire. Be careful to protect any exposed part of your body, especially your face and your hair to avoid catching fire. Lay the blanket from the closest point to the furthest to protect your hands.
Carefully observe the effect of your action. Check if the source is switched off properly. If it is not, turn it off if you can do so safely. Allow the blanket to lie on the fire for some time, preferably more than 20 minutes, to smother the fire. As the fire dies down, you will have saved yourself and others from serious injuries or damage to property.
7. Time to Go
Once you have done all you can, leave the scene of the fire. Call the fire brigade and offer whatever help you can. As you do this, remember you are not the expert here. Your role is limited to dealing with the emergency. While you might conclude the fire is extinguished, it may still be potentially dangerous.
8. Saving Someone on Fire
You can use a fire blanket to rescue someone whose clothes have caught fire. You do this by safely holding the blanket as in 4 above. Carefully approach the person on fire and wrap him or her with the fire blanket. Make sure you have covered every part that is on fire without harming yourself. Although your adrenaline could be running wild, try to calm down and instruct the person to stop, drop, and roll. He will need to do this until the fire is suffocated and completely extinguished. Next, quickly call for help from the emergency services.
Knowing how to use fire blankets properly and effectively can minimize harm and damage to people and property. It makes no sense to have a fire blanket you don’t know how to use.