You likely already have items in your home to help keep you safe in certain situations, and one item people don’t usually include—but should—is a good fire blanket. These blankets are made out of specialized materials that will stop a small or medium-sized fire from spreading any further due to their ability to cut off oxygen to the fire. If you’ve never owned one of these blankets, below are some things to keep in mind before you decide which one to purchase.

  1. They are Essentially Fire Extinguishers

The blankets all have an inner section made out of fire-resistant material, and they work similarly to a fire extinguisher. Once you wrap one of them around an object, such as a pan, or a person’s body, the oxygen supply to the fire is cut off and therefore, the fire is extinguished rather quickly. Keep in mind that they are meant for smaller fires and not larger ones, so be careful how you use the blankets.

  1. You Need Nothing Else Besides the Blanket

When you use a fire blanket to put out a fire, there is no need to use anything else besides the blanket. You don’t have to use water or a separate fire extinguisher, or anything else for that matter. As long as the fire isn’t too big, you can simply drape the blanket over the person’s body or even over a pan on the stove. With just the blanket, you’ll be able to put out a fire almost immediately.

  1. They Come in Different Sizes

Fire blankets tend to come in three main sizes: 1.1 m x 1.1 m (3.5 feet x 3.5 feet), 1.2 m x 1.2 m (4 feet x 4 feet), and 1.8 m x 1.2 m (6 feet x 4 feet). You’ll find a variety of uses for all three sizes, but the two smaller-sized blankets tend to be the ones used most often. Keep in mind that these blankets aren’t for super-big fires.

  1. You’ll Need a Quick Lesson Before Using Them the First Time

If you’re going to have one of these blankets in your home, there should be fire-resistant gloves nearby because you’ll need to wear these before handling the blanket. Most fire blankets come in a small package, so to remove the blanket, pull the two tapes on the package, and it’ll come right out. Once you place the blanket on the fire, step away so that your body doesn’t get too hot, and leave it on the fire for at least 30 minutes.

  1. The Blankets are Made from High-Quality Materials

When you’re buying a new fire blanket, make sure it has no rips or tears in it. You can tell if the blanket is in good shape, but remember to replace it whenever it needs replacing. The blankets are usually made out of fibreglass, which makes them fire-resistant, and their inner materials usually consist of several types of fire-retardant materials. Be picky when you buy your blanket to make sure it’s the best one.

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