A fire blanket is a sheet of woven fire-resistant material designed to extinguish small fires. Fire blankets are usually made from woven fibreglass and work by smothering the fire and cutting off its oxygen supply. Fire blankets are stored in a wall-mounted case or pouch for quick access in a fire emergency.
Fire blankets are usually used for putting out small fires in or around the kitchen and are particularly useful for Class F fires involving cooking oils. They can also be used for waste bin fires and to extinguish clothing fires. Fire blankets are suitable for use in the home, commercial and public environments.
Fire blankets should be located in or near a kitchen but not too close to the fire hazard, as a fire may prevent you accessing the fire blanket. They are best fixed to the wall in an easily identifiable location. Fire blankets should be installed as an additional precaution alongside an appropriate fire extinguisher.
Businesses and organisations should install fire blankets on a wall with the appropriate fire blanket signage.
There are 3 sizes of fire blanket (1 x 1m, 1.2 x 1.2m, 1.2 x 1.8m). You should consider the potential size of the fire as the fire blanket needs to cover the entire fire in order to smother and extinguish it. The smallest size may be more suited to baking tray or frying pan fires at home, whereas a larger size may be required for commercial kitchens, workshop or clothing fires.
To use a fire blanket, turn off the heat source if possible. Pull the tapes downwards to release the fire blanket from its container. Wrap the corners of the blanket around your hands to protect them from the fire and place the blanket over the object that is on fire. Leave the blanket in place until the fire is out and the object is cool. Read more about how to use a fire blanket.
In a business or public setting, fire blankets should be commissioned when they are first installed and serviced annually to check they are well maintained. The fire blanket should be visually inspected to make sure it is not damaged or worn and is clean. The blanket must be replaced in the container according to the manufacturers instructions in order that it can be swiftly deployed if needed.
There is no set time that a fire blanket can be used for although it is usual to replace a fire blanket every 7 years from the date of purchase. You should refer to the manufacturers guidelines for when to replace the blanket. If the fire blanket is damaged or used to put out a fire it should be replaced immediately.
Fire blankets should be tested to meet the current standard BS EN 1869:1997. Purchasing a fire blanket that is kitemarked with the British Standards Kitemark ensures that this standard is being met. Fire blankets that are just CE marked may not have been tested to the British Standards. All Safelincs fire blankets carry the British Standards Kitemark.
Reviewed: 22/06/2022 (doc:570 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.