Friday, June 06, 2008

Questioning the Fire Blanket and Its Ability to Save Property and Lives

When it comes to fire blankets, you need to know exactly what you're using and dealing with before you ever put this in your medical office, hospital, ambulance, lab, or fire truck. This way, when you need to take action, you can be assured that you're giving your patient or the victim the best help possible. What are Fire Blankets Made From? When the fire blanket was first created, it was made from asbestos fibers. Once it was realized that asbestos was actually harmful to those who inhaled it, this process was stopped. However, if you run across an older fire blanket, you might want to double check the material content before you use it. It will still work, of course, but it might be harmful to the user at the same time. Today, most fire blankets are 100% wool and may or may not be coated with fire resistant materials. Other fire blankets that are smaller might be made of fiberglass, but the larger wool ones are made for professional settings. How Are Fire Blankets Regulated? Under the Federal Flammable Fabrics Act CS-191-53, each fire blanket is tested for its ability to put out fires as well as to contain heat. Here are the three main tests that are performed to ensure this:
  • Flame Resistance - This measures how well the material can hold up in the presence of flames
  • Thermal Protective Performance - This measures how much heat is transferred through the blanket
  • Heat and Thermal Shrinkage - This measures how well the blanket can stand up to extreme temperatures

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