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Fire Extinguishers vs. Fire Blankets: Pros & Cons

A fire accident can happen anywhere, anytime. Even a small gas leakage or a short circuit can cause a fire. If you want to keep yourself and your loved ones protected during fire accidents, then you must invest in a good fire suppression system.

You must install a smoke alarm in your house and keep a fire extinguisher or a fire blanket to contain any possible fire accident and prevent it from spreading.

Not sure whether to choose a fire extinguisher or a fire blanket?

Here’s some information to help you make the best choice.

When to Use a Fire Blanket?

Most residential fires start in the kitchen. This is because they are prone to gas leakages. Gas and flame is a deadly combination that can wreak havoc in any property. This is why most of us have a fire extinguisher stored in the kitchen somewhere. A fire extinguisher may be the best equipment to contain and control fire, but it is not the best option to be used in a kitchen.

And here’s why.

Fire extinguishers have fire-controlling foam which contains water. This combination does not work for grease or electrical fires. A fire in the kitchen is usually a grease fire or an electrical fire. A grease fire contains traces of fat or oil in it. Even a small amount of water added to this fire can burn the room down.

Anyone standing near a grease fire when a fire extinguisher is used is sure to get severely burned. Many people lose their lives because of using a fire extinguisher to put out a grease fire.

On the other hand, an electrical fire maybe because of a short circuit or an electrical appliance malfunction. As mentioned above, the foam in the fire extinguisher has water and if you add water to the flames of an electrical fire, you increase the possibility of severe electric shocks. These shocks can be so intense that a person can easily lose their life. Thus, it will result in more harm than good.

Therefore, you must never use a fire extinguisher when dealing with grease or electric fire. The best and safest option is to use a fire blanket. A fire blanket is made of fire-resistant material. It can smother the flames and prevent them from spreading. It can also be used to wrap around a person who may be engulfed by the fire. Thus, if a fire accident happens in the kitchen of your house, then using a fire blanket is the best option.

Pros of a Fire Blanket
  • They can help contain a fire in its early stages
  • They are best for kitchen fires
  • They can easily be used by anyone who may have difficulty using a fire extinguisher
  • They can also be used for personal protection against fire

 

Cons of a Fire Blanket
  • They can only be used once
  • They require you to get close to the fire to put it out
  • They are not suitable to contain a big fire
  • They may contain traces of asbestos if they are old

 

When to Use a Fire Extinguisher?

A fire extinguisher is one of the most commonly used fire-fighting devices. It can be used for all types of fire accidents, except for the two mentioned above. It can put out the flames caused by flammable liquids. It is the best option for combustible fires, metal fires, and gas fires. It comes in a wide variety. From ABC fire extinguishers that are used for common fires to special CO2 extinguishers that can take out flames caused by electrical equipment, gases, and flammable liquids.

Fire extinguishers are very effective if used properly but they do have their limitations as we discussed earlier in the post. They form the first line of defense against the spread of a fire which can cause serious damage to property and may also take precious lives.

 With a fire extinguisher, a fire in most cases can be contained until the fire-fighters arrive. This limits the damage caused by the accident.

From warehouses to vehicles, you will find a fire extinguisher for every environment. The best thing about a fire extinguisher is that it can be used from a safe distance. You don’t have to get too close to the fire source to extinguish it. Just stand at a safe distance, open the pin and start spraying the foam. It will take out the fire in a matter of seconds.

A fire extinguisher must only be installed by an expert fire extinguisher installation company.

Pros of a Fire Extinguisher
  • They are highly effective
  • They are available in a wide variety of sizes and types
  • They can help fight different kinds of fire threats
  • They can be used from a safe distance
  • You need some training to use them
  • Clean-up can be messy after using a fire extinguisher
  • Fire extinguishers for large capacities are heavy and can be difficult to use
Cons of a Fire Extinguisher

Now that you know the uses, pros, and cons of a fire extinguisher and fire blanket, you will be able to make an informed decision about which fire suppression system to use. For kitchen firesFind Article, a fire blanket is the best option while a fire extinguisher is best for all other kinds of fire.

Make sure you get in touch with an expert fire extinguisher installation company if you choose to install a fire extinguisher.

 

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Ken Thomas is the director at Total Fire Solutions, a leading fire protection company in the Pacific Rim and one of the top 3 independent distributors for the Asia Pacific region. His vision is to create a 'one-stop-shop' fire protection company committed to NSW mining and heavy industry. He is passionate about and excited by the latest developments in fire protection technology.



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