Is it okay to use fire blankets for big fires?

I know fire blankets are supposed to be used to safely smother small fires before they spread, but can they be used as a fire resistant covering that you can shield yourself with when you run out of a burning building for instance?

Is It Normal?
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  • Is this a time sensitive question

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  • A fire resistant blanket will give some protection if you're surrounded by flames, but it won't do much of anything to protect you from heat. The blankets are designed to block air from small fires, and their thermal insulation value is minimal.

    And, of course, the biggest killer in fires is the inhalation of carbon monoxide and the various toxic gases given off when modern materials burn. The vast majority of people who die in fires are unconscious due to asphyxiation long before flames get to them. A fire blanket is not going to protect you from those fumes. What does help reduce exposure to those hot gases is staying as low as you can.

    The other issue I can see with trying to use a fire blanket as a protective shield against fire is that draping it over your head is going to drastically reduce your field of vision. I can easily imagine someone using a blanket like that, getting into a (perfectly understandable) state of panic, charging into some obstacle head-first and stunning themselves or even knocking themselves unconscious.

    I recall reading that a study into those involved in fires on aircraft found that those who had taken a few seconds to locate where the nearest exits were relative to their seats were much more likely to survive than those who didn't check and ignored the standard pre-take off safety briefing. Likewise, it's sensible to give some thought to how you'd deal with a fire or other emergency in various locations at home, work, school or any other place you happen to be. It's not something you should be obsessively worried about, but it's always a good idea to check out the exits when you go into a new place.

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  • Yes they can be used as a flame resistant sheild when departing a burning building. It main purpose is a sheild.

    Small fires is relative. The time it takes for a small fire to become a big fire can be relatively short based on what's around the fire. I wouldnt use it to smother fires. Best to use a fire extinguisher in that case.

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  • theres one time use sealed-in-a-plastic-bag gel coated blankets for just that purpose

    the gel is some kinda eucalyptus preparation and not only helps shield from heat but also is a salve for burns

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  • Better than nothing.

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