From: Joanne Myers <jfmc4510**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] fire blankets in lab
Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:35:28 -0700
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: CAPfnvHrBou_+X7M_E6ZjOcHaQpfkoHqkOc+X4umhWn3LBXNFHg**At_Symbol_Here**

All of this reminds me of my early experiences as a TA/lab instructor, in 1963. In my first term, we were told about use of the fire blanket and the fire extinguisher. By the fall of 1964, the department scheduled a meeting of TAs to discuss lab safety and what to do if a student's clothing caught fire. We were to tackle him/her if necessary by diving on the heels to bring him/her down and roll on the floor to smother the flames. As I was three. months pregnant, I prayed that would not be. needed this term. And it wasn't. But it makes a lot of sense now to drill everyone to STOP, DROP AND ROLL. Joanne Myers

On Aug 18, 2014 2:35 PM, "Kennedy, Sheila" <s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:
Many thanks to all who joined this discussion about keeping/using fire blankets in chemistry labs. I wonder if any of our members are adept at making corrections to Wikipedia (see their article on "Fire Blankets," which is what prompted by original question).

I asked our Fire Marshal for the current NFPA document and received this text from the 2011 edition of NFPA 45: Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals. The NFPA website lists this as the current edition with a revision due in 2015. Perhaps those who have early access to revisions will keep us up to date?
Annex A. Laboratory personnel should be thoroughly indoctrinated in procedures to follow in
cases of clothing fires. The most important instruction, one that should be stressed until it
becomes second nature to all personnel, is to immediately drop to the floor and roll. All personnel
should recognize that, in case of ignition of another person's clothing, they should immediately
knock that person to the floor and roll that person around to smother the flames. Too often a
person will panic and nm if clothing ignites, resulting in more severe, often fatal, burn injuries.

Fire-retardant or flame-resistant clothing is one option available to help reduce the occurrence
of clothing fires. Refer to NFPA 1975 "Standard on Station/Work Uniforms for Emergency Services,"
for performance requirements and test methods for fire =AD resistant clothing.

It should be emphasized that use of safety showers, fire blankets, or fire extinguishers are of
secondary importance. These items should be used only when immediately at hand. It should be
recognized that rolling on the floor not only smothers the fire but also helps to keep flames out
of the victim's face, reducing inhalation of smoke.

Sheila Kennedy, C.H.O.
Safety Coordinator | Teaching Laboratories
UCSD Chemistry & Biochemistry |MC 0303
s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here** |
Office: (858) 534-0221 | Fax: (858) 534-7687

-----Original Message-----
From: SAFETY2 [mailto:safety2**At_Symbol_Here**] On Behalf Of Kennedy, Sheila
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2014 2:10 PM
To: SAFETY2**At_Symbol_Here**LISTS.ASU.EDU
Subject: Re: [SAFETY2] fire blankets in lab

Thank you. I found this document, but it appears to be a proposed change to the NFPA Guidelines. I couldn't find if it had ever been officially published/adopted.
It has all the right words, but there's no point in citing a proposal, is there?
Sheila Kennedy, C.H.O.
Safety Coordinator | Teaching Laboratories UCSD Chemistry & Biochemistry |MC 0303 s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here**<mailto:s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here**> |<>
Office: (858) 534-0221 | Fax: (858) 534-7687 _________________________________

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Eric Clark
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2014 1:11 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] fire blankets in lab

This is the National Fire Prevention Association's opinion on fire blankets:

Clothing fires - modify NFPA 45 Annex to add text similar to the following on fire
blankets: Fire blankets may be valuable in labs for a variety of purposes. One of those does not happen to be wrapping yourself in them to extinguish your clothing fire. In addition to trapping the heat, the fire blanket creates a chimney effect and directs the hot, toxic gases, and flames into your face, breathing zone and lungs. Someone else can get the blanket and use it to help smother the flames. Blankets can also be used for (1) shower modesty curtains, (2) wraps for after the shower, (3) a temporary stretcher, (4) to keep someone warm to avoid shock, (5) a pillow if the victim needs to be on the floor, and (6) to smother other fires.

Standard on Fire Protection for Laboratories Using Chemicals Minutes - November 15, 2012

Eric Clark, MS, CHMM, CCHO
Safety Officer, Public Health Scientist III
Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Kennedy, Sheila
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:40 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU<mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Subject: [DCHAS-L] fire blankets in lab

The DivCHAS email list talked about this 4 years ago (
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 Laboratories
Chemistry & Biochemistry |University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr. | La Jolla, CA 92093-0303
(858) 534 - 0221 | fax (858) 534 - 7687
s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here** |

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