We renovated our science building about 12 years ago - and at that time I asked them to NOT install fire blankets - as I feel the same as you in terms of the chimney effect. Improper use of the blankets is very dangerous, and I was worried about that. But, they had to install them as it was fire code at the time. I don't know today what the code is - but we do have them in all of our science labs. We don't use them - we just point them out in training (and I talk about the chimney effect).
The DivCHAS email list talked about this 4 years ago (http://www.ilpi.com/dchas/2010/20100927b.html).It seemed to me most commenters were in agreement that using a fire blanket to wrap a victim who is standing (with clothes on fire) would likely create a chimney effect, funneling hot gases to the victim's face. Neal L. said that NFPA had not commented on this - just changed their emphasis from fire blankets to "STOP! - DROP! - ROLL!"Does anyone have a citation for this change?Do you have blankets in your labs?What do you teach about fire blankets?It worries me that the vertical fire blanket cabinets are still on the market and I've found web pages (including one University safety program and Wikipedia) still teaching the "wrap the standing victim" method."Prudent Practices" recommends a fire blanket as a last resort, but doesn't give much explanation.Sheila M. Kennedy, C.H.O.Safety Coordinator | Teaching LaboratoriesChemistry & Biochemistry |University of California, San Diego9500 Gilman Dr. | La Jolla, CA 92093-0303(858) 534 - 0221 | fax (858) 534 - 7687
Previous post | Top of Page | Next post