The importance of a fire blanket In the case of a fire, a fire blanket helps to control flames and extinguish fires that are most commonly caused by cooking oils in kitchens. You can also use a fire blanket if clothing is on fire, or if an item such as a waste bin has caught alight. By covering the fire with a fire blanket, the supply of oxygen is cut to the fire, minimising its spread. At RES Fire Protection Engineers, our fire blankets have been certified and tested to the most stringent requirements of BS EN 1869:1997. In a business premises, the most frequent location of a fire blanket is in a kitchen area, where cooking equipment is located. A fire blanket should always be positioned at least two metres away from a cooker, and fixed to the wall. When a fire occurs in a kitchen, it is normally on or around the cooker. To use a fire blanket, pull out the blanket from its pouch and hold the blanket between you and the fire. Protect your hands by inserting them into the sleeves of the fire blanket, keeping your fingers away from exposure as you are holding it. Place the fire blanket over the fire and step back immediately. Do not attempt to try and lift up the fire blanket until you are sure that the fire has been put out. Fire blankets should be discarded after use and not re-used. Using a fire blanket For a fire to burn and quickly spread, it requires fuel, heat and oxygen. A fire blanket is used to cut off this supply of oxygen to a fire, and should successfully put it out completely. A fire blanket must be sealed around the fire for it to work effectively, to stop oxygen from getting to the flames. Fire blankets usually have two ‘tails’ that are visible from its packaging. When using a fire blanket, you should place one hand on each tag ‘tail’ and pull simultaneously to remove the blanket from its packaging. If a person’s clothing is on fire, you should use a fire blanket in the same way and make sure that it is correctly sealed around the fire to prevent air escape. Fire blanket installation and servicing If you require fire blankets for a business environment, they should receive an annual service along with your other fire-fighting equipment. Service charges for fire blankets are usually half of that for extinguishers, and having your fire blanket serviced can save lives. An RES engineer will unpack the blanket and carry out a full inspection to ensure that the quality of the blanket still meets the legally required standard before placing it back into its packaging. An engineer will check for signs of wear, stains and any other types of oil staining, and will inform you of any holes in the blanket that may stop the blanket from working properly in the case of a fire. You will receive a certificate containing details of the fire blanket service. Fire blankets from RES At RES, we provide fire blankets that meet the most stringent requirements of BS EN 1869:1997. Our services cover the South of England including London, Berkshire, Bracknell, Windsor, Middlesex & Surrey, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex & Kent,