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Guest Daniel Beach

Fire blanket needed for toaster?

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Guest Daniel Beach

Good afternoon, we recently had a fire extinguisher check undertaken and were informed that we have to have a fire blanket in the canteen area, even though there's no cooker simply because there's a toaster present. Is this the case as it doesn't seem to make much sense? We have a CO2 extinguisher less than 10m away.

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Hi Daniel

I agree, a fire blanket is in this case not a very helpful solution, as the fire blanket will struggle to exclude air to the burning toaster. While CO2 extinguishers might work, they are generally not that well suited for kitchens. They can blow burning substances out of their containers and struggle with burning dry/porous substances, as they have limited cooling and no soaking capability. A dry water mist extinguisher might be the best solution. These extinguishers are safe on electrical equipment and do not leave any deposit, so are perfect near food. We installed some of these in a hotel chain and soon after one of their customers set a croissant on fire in their toaster. They managed to extinguisher the toaster easily with the water mist extinguisher and after a PAT test, the toaster was back in service.

Harry

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Sales trick - you only really need a fire blanket in a kitchen where you have cooking hobs where there is a risk of using pans containing cooking oils (Class F) and then they are only suitable on containers of a maximum of 3 litres content and/or 300mm diameter - any bigger requires an 'F' rated extinguisher such as wet chemical or water mist. I always have a pile of pointless fire blankets removed from premises lying around,

A CO2 within 10 metres will suffice, or you could use a Britannia extinguisher (water or foam as these are suitable for up to 1000V). If you are wishing to spend a little bit extra then the Water Mist extinguisher is an excellent all rounder. One of my clients safely & effectively used a Water Mist extinguisher in a live 415V tumble drier on fire, so whilst the concept of water & electricity takes some getting your head around it's true.

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Guest Dom

Thanks for the advise. I have had fire blankets in a commercial building kitchens that only contain microwaves and toasters. The tabs on the fire blankets have been affected by the UV light and have perished to the edge of the bag holding the blanket.

I have been told that the blankets are no longer compliant. I have raised the question if they are needed at all as they do not cook anything more than toast. is it stated in the BCA or regulation what and when a fire blanket is required?

 

   

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Walker Fire? They love sticking yellow warning stickers on blankets, even when they've just supplied them new (They are also often used without just cause and I have a clipboard covered in ones I've peeled off again!).

Unlike extinguishers there is no British Standard guidance for the provision of blankets so it's a combination of risk assessment, tradition and 'another sale' that seems to dictate provision.

Blankets are useful for small contained fires in many items, such as:

- Chip & frying pans (no greater than 300mm diameter/3 litres of oil in line with the maximum test fire they are used on)

- Small metal non mesh waste bins

- Small parts solvent dip trays 

They used to be suggested back in the day for TV's back in the cathode ray tube days (before flat screens) where they could be draped over the top vents.

Most installed blankets are only just over 1m x 1m (& people on fire training courses are surprised when they see how small they are) so if you need them for their other use, clothing fires, you may need a bigger blanket (they are made up to 1.8m x 1.8m).

In your situation you don't really need them if there is a suitable extinguisher nearby, if they are all condemned just bin them and do without them.

Beware of the fakes of which hundreds are sold each year (especially on Amazon & eBay) that are like tissue paper blankets, if it doesn't have a kitemark symbol and genuine KM number (checkable on BSIs website) I wouldn't trust it.

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