Fire prevention and protection systems in the workplace are only effective if they are properly maintained and your employees know how to use them. Having your team and yourself fully trained up on how to use fire prevention materials such as fire blankets, fire extinguishers and many others could very well save lives in an emergency.
Training and refresher courses are vital to ensuring that you are protecting your workers as well as your business from any liability or loss. Read on to learn the essential information for the correct storage and deployment of a fire blanket in the workplace.
1. The fire blanket needs to be in the right place
It is essential that the fire blanket is stored in a place that is visible and easy to reach. You also need to make sure that all of your employees know exactly where it is. First blankets are commonly stored mounted to a wall so that they are easy to locate quickly. Also, your team will have seen the blanket every day as they are stored at eye level.
It is a good idea to make a list of fire safety checks on a regular basis to make sure that fire prevention tools such as fire blankets are easy to access at all time and that they are not being blocked by new furniture or any other obstacles.
2. Deploying the blanket
To remove the fire blanket from its storage location there will be one or two tabs that need to be pulled. Once these are pulled the blanket will slide out of the cover and be ready to use.
3. Protect yourself first, then others
Whichever member of your team is using the fire blanket, they need to know how to use it safely. Fires can be very hot so even a few licks of the flames can cause permanent damage. The fire blanket must be a barrier between the user and the fire at all times. Proper training will be needed for all employees if this is to be done correctly.
4. Leave the fire blanket in place
Fire blankets work by suffocating a fire. This doesn’t happen instantly and takes time to go into effect. Once the source of the fire is covered with the fire blanket it is important that the blanket is left there for some time.
5. Dispose of the fire blanket correctly after use
Once you have used a fire blanket, you will need to ensure that you dispose of it properly. There are various methods of doing this and if you are unsure of what you need to do you should contact the provider of the fire blanket and follow their instructions.
6. Never re-use a fire blanket
Once you have used the fire blanket you can’t use it again. They are a tool that can only be used once. You will also need to replace the fire blanket. You should make sure that you keep the fire blanket in the same location that you always have as you don’t want people to be confused about the location if they need it again.
7. Don’t be a hero
Fire blankets are still just a blanket at the end of the day. Your team needs to know when they should reach for the fire blanket and when to just get out of the building in a calm and efficient manner. It’s not always about the size of the fire either, your employees will need to be trained to identify the types of fire that the fire blanket is appropriate for.