Fire blanket is a piece of material used to resist fire. It is used in many types of industries where extreme heat or fire is a possibility, such as welding and automotive.
There are many types and grades of fire blanket available and therefore you need to confirm which one would best suit your needs. Here are 5 factors to consider when choosing fire blanket.
1. Assess the risks
When choosing the right fire blanket, you need to assess and identify all the risks involved at a workplace. This is because the risk level when doing a task can vary and you need to guarantee the fire blanket you choose is appropriate.
There are many types of risks that fire blanket can help protect against, such as molten splash, flash fire, radiant heat, or burns from oil. Being aware of these will ensure that you choose a fire blanket that is the appropriate size, width, and fabric.
2. Conformity to certifications & safety standards
Fire blanket has become widespread in many different industries, provided the protection needed to ensure employee safety. But every workplace has its own set of safety standards that lay out the level and type of protection that fire blanket should provide.
Whichever fire blanket you choose should first meet the certifications and specifications of all governing bodies of your industry. It should conform to the local safety standards where the work is being completed so you are in compliance with by-laws. It is thus important to familiarize oneself with all guidelines pertaining to standards before choosing a type of fire blanket. That way you can avoid penalties that could be costly which would be frustrating since you were attempting to comply.
3. Working temperature
The temperature at the workstation as well of all components present needs to be determined before investing in fire blanket. This is because different types of fire blankets have varying insulative properties. When this is determined one can then proceed to choose the material, size, thickness and texture of the blanket.
Size and thickness are usually proportional to the level of heat and fire protection in a fire blanket. Textured blankets have been found to provide greater insulation than flat or filament blankets. Generally, at the right working temperature, fire blankets should not burn or melt and resist electric conduction. If you find that this is not occurring, you either have faulty fire blanket or one that is inappropriate for the work you are doing.
4. Material considerations
Fire blanket is crafted out of varied materials that come with their own set of unique properties. While in the past fire blanket was manufactured with asbestos, this was stopped due to health concerns. These days, most high temperature fire blanket is made from either fiberglass, silicate fibre, or carbon fibre.
Fiberglass material is adequate where protection against light and moderate spark and spatter is required. Silicate fibre have a higher melting point and can withstand higher temperatures. They are thus best suited where heavy molten metal is a concern. Carbon fibre withstands higher temperatures for a shorter time and is scratch resistant. It is therefore suitable for use in the automotive industry.
With so many fire retardant blanket manufacturers claiming to offer quality products, it is hard to know which products would be best for you. There are however a few indicators that one can look out for to ensure you get the right fire blanket.
If a manufacturer has been in operation for years and has built a loyal customer base, then you can trust that they make quality products. A genuine manufacturer never compromises on the consistency and safety of their product. As a result, any complaints about safety is an indication that you should not purchase their products. Check their customer reviews online and on social media to determine if they are worth buying from.