The family home is always considered a safe place of solidarity; a place where you can relax and forget about all your problems with the company of your loved ones. While it’s very important to feel safe at home, every homeowner should have measures in place in the event of an emergency situation. Most people would be surprised with how many fire hazards exist in and around the family home. While it’s never easy to picture a fire igniting in your home, you should always be as prepared as possible to ensure the safety of you and your family.
While smoke alarms are required by law in all Australian homes, by the time you wake up to one screaming in your ear, it’s too late to do anything but evacuate you and your family from your home and alert the Fire Department. On the other hand, if you’re present when small fires ignite then you have the opportunity to extinguish these fires before they intensify and cause a huge amount of damage to your property. Small fires can be extinguished with either a fire extinguisher or fire blanket, and in this article we’ll look at which method is more effective in extinguishing various types of common household fires.
Fire blankets are made from fibreglass and can withstand temperatures of up to 5000 celsius. Stored in easily accessible PVC containers, fire blankets can be quickly released to extinguish small fires, or used on someone whose clothes have caught on fire by wrapping the fire blanket around them. Fire blankets come in a range of sizes and should be stored in the entrance of the kitchen, since the most common household fires start from cooking or grease fires. It’s very important that fire blankets are easily accessible, and not stored near the stove or other places which would make it difficult to access should a fire ignite.
Fire blankets are ideal for cooking/grease fires and electrical fires. You should never try to extinguish these types of fires with water because it will cause cooking fires to spread to other areas or you could electrocute yourself with electrical fires. While you can use certain types of fire extinguishers on cooking and electrical fires, they will cause damage to your property and create quite a mess! Hence, fire blankets are the best solution for both cooking and electrical fires.
Fire blankets smother the fire by removing the oxygen which is essentially the air that the fire needs to breathe. After releasing the fire blanket from the container, carefully place the blanket over the fire and leave it there for at least 20 minutes. Never throw a fire blanket over a fire as you could easily miss your target and only make matters worse. It’s important to note that fire blankets should only be used once and replaced immediately. In terms of disposal, douse the fire blanket in water until all the heat has disappeared and place the blanket in your garbage bin.
Most people are familiar with fire extinguishers, but there are many types of fire extinguishers that are suitable for different types of household fires. It’s very important to understand which fire extinguishers are suitable for various fires since using the wrong fire extinguisher can lead to disastrous consequences, such as using a water fire extinguisher on an electrical fire.
The most common types of household fires are:
Class A – Carbon based materials like plastics, wood, cloth, and paper
Class B – Combustible or flammable liquids like oil, petrol, and kerosene
Electrical Fires – Computers, hair dryers, toasters, and heaters
Class F – Cooking fires, such as vegetable oils and lard
As discussed earlier, fire blankets are more effective for cooking and electrical fires, so fire extinguishers should ideally be used for Class A and Class B fires. There is a multi-purpose fire extinguisher called the ABE fire extinguisher which is suitable for Class A, B, and electrical fires, so it’s recommended that each household contains at least one ABE fire extinguisher in an easily accessible place around the home. This type of fire extinguisher can safely be used to extinguish small fires caused by carbon based materials or flammable liquids. Like fire blankets, fire extinguishers need to be refilled or replaced after use.
To protect your family and your property in the event of a household fire, it’s strongly recommended that each household contains both a fire blanket and an ABE fire extinguisher. Fire blankets and fire extinguishers are effective at extinguishing all types of common household fires, so if need to purchase one or you’d like to get some training in how to properly use them, get in touch with King Fire Protection Solutions on 1300 344 966, or visit their website for further information: https://www.kingfire.com.au/