Types of Fire Blankets (Comparison) | Best Blanket for Fires
To help prevent serious bodily injury or death in the event of a fire, smoke detectors, fire blankets, and an escape route must be on your emergency preparation list.
What is a Fire Blanket?
A fire blanket is a large piece of fabric made of a material that will not burn when you expose it to fire. Many blankets used for household applications consist of two layers of wool or fiberglass fabric, with a flame-retardant barrier layer in between.
A basic blanket should protect a person for up to one minute from heat up to 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, while many offer ratings much higher.
How a Fire Blanket is Used
When a fire breaks out in your home, you remove a blanket from its storage pouch and toss it over the flames, as you can see in this video below. The blanket effectively blocks oxygen flow, which snuffs out the flames before they spread.
You can use a fire-retardent blanket as a barrier between a person and flames or high heat, by draping the material over your head and body as you exit a building. For flames on clothing, you can roll up inside the blanket to put it out.
Fire-retardent blankets are much more user-friendly than a fire extinguisher, with even young children able to learn how to use one in case of emergency. You can clean and reuse most types of fire blankets, which helps reduce overall cost.
Types of Fire Blanket Materials
Different blanket materials are better to extinquish fires from:
- Faulty electrical wiring
Fiberglass blankets are best to put out kitchen or garage fires caused by grease or oil. Trying to put out these types of fire with water will cause a dangerous steam explosion that can cause skin burns and spread the flames.
Fiberglass material is common for many blankets due to versatility in protection against any fire, especially those fueled by gasoline.
A wool blanket with a flame-retardant treatment is an ideal choice for general types of household electrical fires and in garages or industrial settings where chemical fires may start.
Wool blankets are thicker and denser, which is a suitable type for protecting your head and torso when escaping a building that is on fire. A large wool blanket is also effective against out-of-control flames from a grill or fire pit.
Cotton is a newcomer to the fire-blanket material selection. These blankets typically get a non-toxic fire inhibitor used for treatment, instead of standard types of flame retardants that can be more harmful to the environment.
Cotton blankets are best for use in bedrooms as protection while escaping fires, especially for babies and children who could be more susceptible to reactions to certain flame retardants.
Fire blankets are used as an affordable tool to keep in your home, office, garage, or car to quickly put out or escape a fire when every moment counts. Having the right blanket on hand is critical for safety, so always choose blanket material rated for as many sources of fire as possible.
Help keep you and your family safe by including fire blankets in any emergency preparedness kit.