5 Key Characteristics of a Fire Blanket

6 min read

Fire blanket is fabric that is able to resist extremely high temperatures. Used to many different industrial facilities, it has proven to be instrumental in keeping heat at bay.

However, there are many different types of fire blankets manufactured and businesses need to guarantee they get the one appropriate for the work they do. Here are 5 factors to consider when using fire blankets.

1. Material

Although all fire blankets are all designed to block heat, they are not all made from the same material. The most common and effective materials that make up fire blankets are aramid, fiberglass, amorphous silica, and pre-oxidized carbon. Fire blankets may also be made from composites of these fibers. Review the composition list for each blanket before purchasing. That way you will get the one that best suits your needs.

The benefit of these four fibers is that they block heat effectively while remaining relatively thin, usually less than 3.7 mm. When considering fire blankets for insulation, the primary concern should be its material rather than the thickness of the blanket. This is because making them thicker usually does not change its ability to block heat.

2. Purpose

Although fire blankets are commonly used to keep electrical components away from machinery or the general environment, it may also be used to keep heat from escaping. This is a common feature that is needed in an industrial environment.

A perfect example of this is in areas where safety equipment is needed to function properly in the case of an emergency. Safety valves may need to be able to shut down systems. If this equipment is damaged by heat, then the result could be extremely disastrous. This means that a fire blanket can be used to keep heat from escaping from equipment to safety systems if needed.

3. Maintenance

Fire blankets do not always include directions for maintenance. However, it is recommended that they are inspected annually. A yearly inspection by a service provider allows for any problems to be addressed promptly. For example, a blanket can see wear and tear over time. Even a small rip or tear may lessen the integrity of the blanket.

If major systems rely on a fire blanket, even small problems can be a safety concern. For this reason, have any fire blankets in use inspected on a yearly basis.

4. Life expectancy

Fire blanket is made out of extremely tough material. However, it will not last forever. The material that makes up the blanket will determine its usable life. Most fire blankets can be used for seven years safely. After this time period, the fibers in the blanket can start to break down. While they still may have some use, they should be replaced if used to insulate important equipment or materials.

Since the life expectancy of fire blankets may vary, pay attention to the manufacturer recommendations. They will be listed on or with the blanket and can be used to determine when it needs to be replaced. As a result, you will be able to avoid emergencies where the fire blanket has failed and cause an incident.

5. Test results

Most fire blankets have been tested before being released on the market. When using a blanket for a critical purpose such as insulation, always review what tests have been performed. This review allows businesses to determine if the blanket will meet their needs.

Not all blankets are created equal. Review how well the blanket did in heat tests. Although it may not be necessary to purchase the top performing blanket, a business needs to ensure that any blanket used is appropriate for their industry and components used.

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